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Issue #1917      June 1, 2020

RENT STRIKERS FORM NEW UNION AFTER MALTREATMENT FROM AGENTS CONTINUES

Real estate agents are continuing to threaten recently unemployed renters during the COVID-19 crisis. Launching from the Rent & Mortgage Strike, renters and people in precarious housing across Victoria have voted to unionise in efforts to level the playing field and fight for housing rights throughout this crisis and into the future.

Renters of low and precarious income are struggling to pay rent, and are attempting to negotiate reductions as per government advice. Yet agents are rejecting reasonable reduction requests, often defining reductions as deferrals in fine print of new agreements.

The Victorian Government’s COVID-19 Omnibus legislation measures are proving inadequate. Despite the moratorium, real estate agents and landlords continue to threaten evictions, even making unsolicited visits to our homes. Advocacy organisations are warning of a wave of evictions come September when the moratorium is scheduled to end.

Renters And Housing Union (RAHU) Victoria is preparing for the incoming storm.

RAHU is a community of self representing renters’ fighting back against the increasing assault on renters’ rights.

RAHU will defend each other against eviction, give support and representation in negotiations and organise collectively for our rights as renters and the right of secure and affordable housing for all.

QUOTES ATTRIBUTABLE TO RAHU Organisers:

“Landlords and real estate agencies are crying poor while threatening hard working renters with homelessness. We have lost our incomes. Agents will learn that you can’t draw blood from a stone, people can’t give you money they’re not earning.

“We refuse to be intimidated and we will not be divided. Renters And Housing Union is a much needed beacon of solidarity to renters and people in precarious housing, and will be a shelter from the incoming storm.” – Sebastian Herrera, RAHU member, Musician, Theatre Technician.

“Renters are understandably confused by mixed messages from many levels of authority.

“Renters are rightly scared they may end up on the streets. Now, people have a renters’ union to begin to address the housing issues we face.” – Zachary Doney, RAHU member, hospitality worker.

Next article – “HE WHO MUST BE BLINDLY OBEYED”

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