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Information about rent assistance, help with the cost of a bond, rebates on your utility bills, other temporary financial support and managing your money.

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Residential tenancy eviction update

The NSW Government plans to introduce a six-month transition out of the temporary COVID-19 rental eviction moratorium, which expires on 26 March 2021.

A six month transition period means COVID-19 impacted tenants who accrued rent arrears between April 2020 to March 2021 will not be subject to the standard tenancy eviction rules.

Find out more about the eviction moratorium transition.

Coronavirus has affected many people across Australia. If you're worried about your finances, there are ways to find support. 

This includes:

  • government payments
  • help with moving costs and rent
  • practical ways to manage your payments and debt.

Temporary financial support

There is a range of temporary financial support for people affected by coronavirus. The type of support you can get will depend on your situation, and may include:

Help with the cost of rent and moving

Depending on your situation, there may be payments available to help with the cost of moving, rent and bond.

Rent Assistance

You may be eligible for Rent Assistance if you get certain income support payments and also pay:

  • rent
  • fees in a retirement village
  • lodging
  • board and lodging
  • site or mooring fees if your main home is a caravan, relocatable home or boat.

The amount of Rent Assistance will depend on how much rent you pay. 

You don’t need to apply. You'll be automatically assessed when you claim one of the relevant payments.

Rent Choice

Rent Choice helps eligible tenants find and pay for rental accommodation for up to 3 years:

  • Rent Choice Assist - for low income households in certain regions that have had a financial shock, such as job loss or illness
  • Rent Choice Start Safely – for those who’ve experienced family or domestic violence
  • Rent Choice Youth – for those aged 16 to 24 who are homeless, or are at risk of becoming homeless 
  • Rent Choice Veterans – for former members of the Australian Defence Force who are homeless, or are at risk of becoming homeless 

Rentstart

Rentstart helps low income earners who are eligible for, or already living in, social housing.

It aims to make it easier when moving out of social housing into a new home in the private rental market. Support from Rentstart includes:

  • Rentstart Bond Loan - an interest-free loan to help pay the bond
  • Advance Rent – a grant to those who have a Rentstart Bond Loan and are having trouble with the costs of their new tenancy. It also covers a deposit for those moving into caravan parks, registered boarding houses and hostels where a bond isn’t required
  • Rentstart Move – a loan for tenants leaving public housing to help with the cost of moving
  • Tenancy Assistance - help to pay any outstanding rent or water bills
  • Temporary Accommodation – provides short-term accommodation for those who are homeless.

Managing bill payments and debts

There is support available from your bank, energy company and across government to help you manage your ongoing payments and debt.

Energy costs

If you're having difficulty paying your utility bills, contact your energy retailer directly about setting up a hardship arrangement or payment plan. 

There are many rebates available to eligible customers that can help reduce energy bills, including electricity and gas rebates for: 

  • retail customers (if you get your bill from an energy retailer) 
  • on supply customers (if you get your energy bill or invoice from a strata manager or community/village operator).

No interest loans

Good Shepherd is working with the Federal Government and NAB to offer 24-month interest free household relief loans for those affected by coronavirus.

Loans of up to $3000 to pay for rent, bond and utilities, with no interest, charges or fees.

You can call the free COVID hardship support hotline on 1300 121 130 or apply online.

Financial Information Service

This is a free, confidential service where you can talk to a Financial Information Service Officer from the Federal Government about:

  • financial products including superannuation and investments
  • financial planners and how to use their advice 
  • the benefit of reducing your debt
  • how to increase your retirement income.

Call the Financial Information Service on 13 23 00 to learn more about how to manage your finances.

Financial support

  • guidance to help with paying council rates, bills and fines at Moneysmart 
  • claim expenses if you're working from home during the coronavirus at the Australian Tax Office 
  • learn how to plan and make a budget at Moneysmart.

Financial counselling

 

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