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Housing groups are calling on the state government to wrap a “financial ring of steel” around residential tenants who are struggling to pay their rent due to lockdowns.

It comes as the preliminary results of a Tenants Victoria survey of 400 renters found that 70 per cent had taken a financial hit during the state’s latest lockdown, losing an average $1280 in income. About half of these renters said this had affected their ability to pay rent.