The Victorian government has launched additional support for tenants struggling to pay their rent.

Victoria's COVID-19 Rent Relief Grant program will provide grants of up to $1,500 to renters which will go directly as a contribution towards the cost of their rent.

This one-off payment is for renters who are paying more than 30% of their income on rent.

The grant is targeted at renters who have lost an income of 20% or more due to the pandemic.

Other qualifications for the grant include:

  • Annual incomes are capped at $62,860 for singles and $94,300 for couples.
  • Applicants should not have more than $2,000 in savings.
  • The landlord and renter will also need to enter into a rent reduction agreement for a period after 27 May 2021.
  • Casual workers on holiday and working visas, international students, skilled visa holders, seasonal workers, New Zealand citizens and all refugee and temporary protection visa holders are eligible for the scheme.

A previous round of rent relief grants, which ran from April 2020 to March 2021, helped more than 33,000 Victorian renters maintain their tenancy.

Housing Minister Richard Wynne said the grant will alleviate the stress of many renters right now who are undergoing financial difficulties.

"We know there are plenty of Victorians doing it tough right now – the last thing they need to worry about is whether they can keep a roof over their head," Mr Wynne said.