Submission: Productivity Commission’s review of the National Housing and Homelessness Agreement Review


Everyone deserves a home. Housing is the basis from which we ensure our communities’ well-being. This is not simply about the material, physical and structural protections housing provide, but also a sense of home and belonging within a wider community.

The Australian housing system has failed to ensure everyone has access to safe, secure, affordable housing. This is particularly true in relation for those renting in the private rental market, a problem exacerbated by the very limited availability of non-market rental housing options (including public and community housing). Unfortunately, due to chronic under-resourcing and the adoption of ‘pathways’ frameworks by many governments and community housing providers across Australian jurisdictions this is also too often the experience for renters of public and community housing. This failure increases both the risk of homelessness for vulnerable renting households, and the barriers to people developing a pathway out of homelessness.

The Tenants’ Union of NSW appreciates the opportunity to provide a submission to the Productivity Commission’s review of the National Housing and Homelessness Agreement (the NHAA). We welcome the opportunity to offer comment on key terms, objectives, scope, outcome and outputs. Our focus in this brief submission is on how the agreement can deliver better housing outcomes for those in the broad private rental market, and for those renting in non-market rental housing (public and community housing) by introducing some specific targets and outcomes in relation to security, health and safety, and accessibility. We primarily discuss the experience of renters in NSW, however the recommendations we make are generally appropriate across all Australian jurisdictions.