More Bang for Your Bond

Three independent reviews of the Tenant's Advice and Advocacy Program (TAAP) funding program, commissioned by NSW Fair Trading, the department responsible for administering the program, have recommended an increase in investment into these important services. Unfortunately, detailed submissions to four different Ministers responsible for Fair Trading and to the Rental Bond Board, which funds the program, have failed to result in an increase in funding in 13years.  This is despite a 37% increase in the number of tenant households. So in 2015 the TU, jointly with the TAAP services network launched a public campaign to call for more of tenants money* to be released for tenants services.

[*Tenancy services are funded from the interest on tenants bonds. This grant is matched by a grant from the Property Services Statutory Interest Account, which holds interest generated by money in real estate agents’ trust accounts, including money paid by tenants]

Campaign highlights included:

  • Over 30 MPs and candidates from across the political spectrum have supported the campaign
  • Over 2000 actions were taken by individuals in support of the campaign, including signing postcards, signing the online petition and posting photos of support online.
  • The campaign Facebook page and Twitter feed attracted 1,000 followers.
  • Over 5,000 unique visitors to the campaign website. The site includes an interactive tool where tenants can enter their bond and see where their bond interest goes has been developed.
  • The campaign received media coverage in the Sydney Morning Herald, community radio, and community media.

The campaign wound up with a presentation at Parliament of the petition to Dr. Geoff Lee MP (Member for Parramatta Lib), Jenny Leong MP (Member for Newtown and Greens spokesperson on tenancy and rental housing), and David Mehan MP (Member for The Entrance ALP). 

As at mid 2016 there still has been no increase in funding.

 

Dr Geoff Lee MP and Julie Foreman Executive Officer of the Tenants' Union at NSW Parliament House
Dr Geoff Lee MP and Julie Foreman Executive Officer of the Tenants' Union at NSW Parliament House