Welcome to our blog. Staff at the Tenants' Union and occasional guests offer their commentary and analysis of our renting system. We hope to inform, educate and debate the legal, political and cultural aspects of this renting life. If you would like an official quote for media use, or have questions regarding official research, policy or publications please contact us. For more news see also our general news page and for factsheets and sample letters see Tenancy info.


Big numbers and good intentions: Labor's Affordable Housing Plan

17/12/2018
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

10/12/2018
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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The sale of Millers Point properties has ended: it has made inequality worse

09/11/2018
Millers Point - not for sale photo
With the sale of the final two terrace houses on Saturday, 3 November 2018, Property NSW announced the end of the Millers Point sales program. Announcement of the successful tender for the sale of the Sirius building is expected any day now. We'll take this moment to reflect on a number of ways to remember this chapter.
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The Limits of Rights and Protections: Housing as an Essential Service

24/10/2018
Out of order sign
Public policy relating to renting and tenancy is typically approached through two competing conceptions: consumer protection and human rights - are we regulating an economic exchange or ensuring that everyone has a roof over their heads? The problems resulting from these, governments resistant to enforceable rights mechanisms and not all tenancies being commercial transactions, mean too many people are denied adequate housing. Perhaps it’s time to explore a different way of framing this issue: through the lens of access to housing as public service provision.
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A longer lease on life: issues for older renters

21/06/2018
Older people faces
With a surplus of $3.9 billion for 2016-17, the 2018 NSW State Budget had its winners and losers. The latter include seniors and renters. This blog examine some of the issues confronting older renters.
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Please can we have a cat?

19/04/2016
Renting with pets is risky, you've got to be responsible in ways that others do not. Unlike tenants, home owners can't be evicted for failing to train a dog not to bark at passing traffic, and they don't really have to be concerned about the damage their pets might cause - at least, not as far as it might affect other people. But because home owners are considered bona fide grown-ups, we let them decide for themselves whether or not to keep pets. Tenants, on the other hand, are apparently not to be trusted with such decisions without the blessing of a landlord.
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Ruth Simon: A champion for housing rights

08/03/2016
Ruth Simon
Ruth Simon is a true champion for housing justice. For well over a quarter of a century Ruth has dedicated herself to ensuring justice for Aboriginal people through her work, both paid and unpaid. She has initiated or managed a range of initiatives promoting access to education, secure housing, health and employment. Always, Ruth has understood how these issues interrelate and how they all must be addressed to create positive outcomes for Aboriginal people.
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Transgender women and homelessness

08/03/2016
Alyssa
Parental rejection and family violence based on gender identity have been cited as causes of homelessness for young trans people in Australia. The insecurity of homelessness can in turn have devastating effects on a person’s mental and physical health. Given that trans people are already four times more likely to have been diagnosed with depression than the general population, the compounding effects of homelessness on trans people can be dire. In this article Dylan Stanford discusses these issues, with insights from Alyssa, a young bisexual trans woman with lived experience of homelessness and housing.
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You shall not covet your neighbour's house

07/10/2015
Millers Point - not for sale photo
On March 19th 2014 the O'Farrell Government announced the proposed sale of 293 public housing properties in Millers Point and the Rocks. Now, just over 18 months later, Dr Robert Mowbray provides a sobering look at the impact on this unique inner-suburban community, and its resident tenants...
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Land tax is the fairest tax on earth

20/01/2015
From the Brown Couch archives: an explanation of why the TU supports a land tax
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