Tenant's Union blog

Chilly house? Mouldy rooms? Here's how to improve low-income renters’ access to decent housing

Streetscape
People’s quality of life, their health and their comfort can suffer when living in poor-quality housing. It can also impose high ongoing costs of maintenance, repairs, heating and cooling. And these problems are more likely to affect low-income households, as our report for Shelter NSW shows. In it, we review the evidence on housing quality problems and consider ways to resolve these, especially for low-income households. There is extensive evidence of the impacts of poor-quality housing on physical health, mental wellbeing and comfort.
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In/formal housing – is more formality the answer?

Leo Patterson Ross at the Housing Theory Symposium
This is the text of an address given by Senior Policy Officer Leo Patterson Ross to the Housing Theory Symposium 2019. Leo argues that "Like water, if we do not get the supply of housing right, it will get to people in uncontrolled ways, providing too much to some and preventing others from getting enough. Along the way, some of it might get tainted and become unhealthy, unsafe. There will always be luxury water, sold in little bottles. But if we ensure cheap tap water continues to flow then those who need it will never go thirsty."
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Negative gearing is still not your friend

Balacava - negative gearing is not your friend
Negative gearing remains a major issue for tenants - we've written more than 50 articles about it! This article has been one of the most widely read over the last few years, and now we've updated the data. In summary: negative gearing does not cause an individual landlord to charge less rent; negative gearing does not create net additional rental housing; negative gearing has contributed to more higher-income households renting; negative gearing has contributed to low-value properties dropping out of the rental market.
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Theresa May shows Gladys the way on eviction reform

Theresa May shows Gladys the way on eviction reform
Theresa May’s government in the UK has shown that supporting a fairer, balanced renting system is possible for conservative governments. Last week May and Housing Minister James Brokenshire announced that legislation was to be written to end unfair ‘no grounds’ evictions. Landlords will no longer be able to end tenancies either at the end of a fixed-term or outside a contract period without giving any reason at all. Instead, there will be a list of reasonable grounds where although the tenant has not breached the lease, the landlord will be able regain possession of the property.
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Do politicans vote with their property interests?

Politicians
With recent news about Government ministers opposing no grounds reform, we thought it timely to look at whether politicians' votes are affected by their property interests.
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Big numbers and good intentions: Labor's Affordable Housing Plan

ALP announcement
The Federal ALP conference is happening in Adelaide at the moment, and one of the big early announcements was a plan to build a lot of 'affordable' housing. This can probably be treated as the first big housing announcement of the coming election campaign. It has been met with near-rapturous support from community housing providers and their supporters, like the Everybody's Home campaign. Others, like ACOSS have been more circumspect. And some on twitter have raised some concerns. Let's dig in to what the policy is, and what we might expect to deliver.
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Factchecking the fourth estate

When you see a claim about housing in Australian media
Media reporting of housing issues is a mixed bag. It certainly has gotten much better over time, and journalists and readers are becoming more educated. Over the last week there have been three instances we thought it was worth picking up on. It was incredibly disappointing that in the same week that Choice, National Shelter and National Association of Tenants Organisations launched 'Disrupted' with excellent coverage across the nation, both of Sydney's main papers had a crack at our public housing tenants. And then the ABC dropped a clanger on Sunday.
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