2020-03-24 18:25:15 +1100
To: Renters and Mortgagors
COVID-19 Rent Strike Pledge
As renters and mortgagors we need to pledge, en-masse, that we will collectively withhold all rental and mortgage payments while the COVID-19 pandemic requires vulnerable people to isolate without security of income and housing.
Renters must demand a rent amnesty from our landlords or real estate agents.
Mortgagors must demand a repayment amnesty from our banks and mortgage holders. This has already been done in Italy, and will make a rent amnesty possible.
We must all ensure that no member of our community is evicted, fined, or put into debt because they can't pay rent or mortgage repayments while the COVID-19 outbreak is considered a pandemic.
Why is this important?
Many workers have no access to paid sick leave, have already run out of leave, or will run out of leave if required to self-isolate for 14-days.
Workers in tourism, education, events and entertainment industries are highly casualised and experiencing massive cancellations and loss of income.
The risk of losing access to housing is driving vulnerable workers to take any shift they can get, even when feeling ill, or under direction to self-isolate.
The precarious nature of the rental and housing market, and its massive costs, provide incentives to people to continue to work, even when this puts the community at risk.
Alone, these workers face economic strife and destitution, whether through large fines for breaking quarantine orders, or through punitive measures taken by landlords, real estate agencies and banks.
Together we can ensure that the mortgage and rent amnesty is extended to everyone, so we can all take time away from work without fear of homelessness. We must assert the right to housing for all. We mustn't allow the most vulnerable people to be singled out.
We must not ask for permission from the landlords and banks; we must take a strike to protect our community.
Even if you can access leave, think of those who can't, please sign the pledge and join the strike.