Submission: Regional Housing Taskforce


The Tenants’ Union of NSW commends the NSW Government for establishing the Regional Housing Taskforce and recognizing the need for immediate action to address and respond to the housing crisis in regional NSW. The impact of the crisis is being felt particularly by households who rent their homes.

In this submission we provide data on the record low vacancy rates and the sharp increases in market rent in the private rental sector in the regions. We identify some of the key drivers of this trend. We also outline the various ways in which the crisis is being experienced by renters, including

  • an increased use of ‘no grounds’ eviction
  • privacy concerns and the experience of discrimination during the application process
  • pressure on renters to engage in ‘rent bidding’
  • difficulty securing alternative accommodation
  • eviction into homelessness.

There are no easy or quick solutions to the general housing crisis, and the various problems being experienced by renters across the private rental sector in the regions.

This requires a longer-term strategy and a significant commitment of resources. Additionally, while the planning system must be part of any longer-term response, increasing housing supply and streamlining and/or removing impediments within the planning system will not alone address the housing crisis. A much broader response and commitments across government are required to deliver on the secure, affordable, and liveable housing that the NSW Government is committed to delivering.

For this reason, our submission provides a number of recommendations outside of the formal scope set out in the terms of reference of this review. We hope, nonetheless, they will be considered by the taskforce and by the NSW Government.