NEWS

Older people at risk of homelessness

Older woman sitting on a couch - report cover
'The older I get the scarier it becomes' is a new report into the risk of homelessness for older people in NSW. The report was released on 29th November 2017, during the 2017 National Housing Conference, by the Ageing on the Edge Homelessness Prevention Project. Robert Mowbray, Tenants' Union Project Officer for Older Tenants, represents the TU on the NSW Reference Group for this project.
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Make Renting Fair gains momentum

Make Renting Fair campaigners and supporters in Redfern
Redfern tenants and community show their support for Make Renting Fair
In NSW current tenancy legislation allows landlords in the private market to end a tenancy without having to give a reason. This means renters are often scared to enforce their rights because they know they can get kicked out for things like asking for repairs or challenging an excessive rent increase. Make Renting Fair is a community campaign calling for law reform to end these unfair evictions. Support for the Make Renting Fair campaign continues to grow.
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#WeLiveHere community action

Brian with his dog Ruby in their apartment
Waterloo renter Brian, with his dog Ruby
#WeLiveHere2017 was a community action led by local residents of Redfern Waterloo. Coloured lights lit up the two social housing tower blocks in Waterloo – Matavai and Turanga – that have dominated the southern skyline of Sydney since 1976. In 2015 the NSW State Government announced the redevelopment of the Waterloo Estate, including six large tower blocks and several low rise dwellings. Some 3,600 residents – many of them elderly or people with a disability – will be relocated in the process. The Tenants' Union spoke to two residents who participated in the #WeLiveHere action, Felix and Brian, to get their perspectives.
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From Millers Point to Glebe

Paddi O'Leary in front of a jacaranda tree.
Paddi, former Millers Point tenant
Paddi O’Leary was a tenant in social housing at Millers Point and participated in tenant action to reverse the policy of relocation and also supported tenants through the process of relocation. She talked with Paul van Reyk from the Tenants' Union about her relocation from there to Glebe. "That was the big thing in all of this, the loss of community. You can’t create it from outside,” said Paddi.
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Transfer of Tenancy Management from Public to Community Housing

In October 2016 the Government announced the transfer of tenancy management for thousands of tenanted public housing properties from the Department of Family and Community Services (FACS Housing) to registered Community Housing Providers (CHPs). Expressions of interest were called for, and CHPs invited to tender for contracts. The successful tenders have recently been announced, with around 14,000 properties to be transferred to nine CHPs across a number of regions.
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Boarding Houses Act Five Years On

Terrace cartoon
The Boarding Houses Act 2012 reflected over 40 years of lobbying by public interest groups, including the TU, to try to provide rights and enforceable protections for residents of boarding houses. It aimed to regulate the Boarding House industry as a whole and to ensure that residents receive ‘quality’ services from proprietors. TU has been monitoring the Act’s operation to develop our submission to the five-year review of the Act.
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Proposed Automatic Rent Deduction Scheme may reduce fairness

The Automatic Rent Deduction Scheme (ARDS) as proposed by the Social Services Legislative Amendment (Housing Affordability) Bill 2017 if passed will have a detrimental impact on arrears and debt management processes employed by social housing landlords in New South Wales. The Tenants' Union has made a submission about our concerns to the Senate Inquiry in the proposed Bill.
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Tenants' organisations concerned about forced rent payments proposal

calculator placed on paper
The National Association of Tenants Organisations has concerns about aspects of a Bill before Federal parliament which would enable social housing landlords to access tenants income support payments in order to pay various housing costs.
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