As part of its $4 million COVID-19 relief package, the City of Subiaco offered a rent relief package to vulnerable social and commercial tenants of City-owned buildings to provide practical and real assistance to local businesses and organisations.
Men’s Shed Subiaco was one such social tenant who was offered 12 months rent free, making a big difference to the organisation who is an important part of the local community.
Subiaco Community Men’s Shed Secretary Doug Stewart said it would have been a struggle without the rent relief and they could now instead put the money into improving amenities, such as plumbing.
While the closure of the shed in March meant projects for families, the public, schools and hospitals were stopped in their tracks, it also meant members weren’t able to get their usual socialisation. But this hasn’t stop ‘shedders’ from staying connected and supportive of each other during this difficult time.
“We shedders are getting along remarkably well, I think,” Doug said. “We have changed the way we meet by holding Zoom Meetings. Also, the amount of emailing has gone up considerably and we have used the time to develop plans to improve the shed.”
The City recently completed an extension on the shed which will enable members to expand into different hobby areas, including jewellery, lead lights, reading, computers and light metal work once the organisation fits it out.
Doug hopes the new extension and services will help to attract more members and enable the ‘shedders’ to do more for their community.
“The members are very grateful for the generosity of the City of Subiaco – it makes us feel that we are worthy citizens and we are better equipped to give something back,” he said.
“We are looking forward to reopening and getting busy fixing chairs, supplying items to schools, hospitals and other not-for-profit groups as well as keeping ourselves alert.”
Vulnerable commercial tenants were also given rent relief on a case-by-case basis to help them stay afloat during these unprecedented times.