Affordable housing – news and analysis

Housing crisis in regional NSW: What can be done?

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Recently the Tenants’ Union of NSW provided a submission to the NSW Regional Housing Taskforce. Regional NSW is in the midst of housing crisis, and its impact is being felt particularly by households who rent their homes. In our submission we provide data on the record low vacancy rates and the sharp increases in market rent in the private rental sector; identify a number of key drivers of this trend, and outline the various ways in which the crisis is being experienced by renters. Key recommendations include delivery of social and affordable housing in regional NSW, and reform to NSW tenancy law.
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Outasite – land lease community magazine out now

Outasite cover
The Tenants' Union has just published Outasite – our annual printed publication for land lease communities! It has been delivered to mailboxes in communities all over NSW. This issue includes articles on electricity in land lease communities, the Review of the Residential (Land Lease) Communities Act, Local Government regulations impact on home owners, site fee increase methods, and more...
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The tale of Alan and Annie: living in affordable housing and retiring from paid work

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‘What happens to an affordable housing tenant when they retire? Will they be forced to move?’ The Tenants' Union of NSW isn't sure of the answer to this question. So, Robert Mowbray - the Tenants' Union's Older Renters Policy Officer - went to do a bit of digging.
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Vale John Mant – supporter of TAAS

John Mant
VALE JOHN MANT, 1936-2021: The tenants of New South Wales owe a big thankyou to John Mant who died on 10 July, aged 84. He left a legacy still in the making, especially in the field of urban planning. He also made a big contribution to the creation and ongoing support for tenants advice and advocacy services in NSW
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Call for systemic change amid Northern Rivers housing crisis

Sally
The Northern Rivers region is beset by soaring rental prices, social housing issues, a crisis of housing instability and homelessness. In this article Sally Latter, Coordinator of the Northern Rivers Tenants Advice and Advocacy Service, shows why it's time to end no-grounds evictions and transform the housing system.
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A day in the life of Tenant Advocate Neissa Carpenter Holmes

Neissa
We interview Neissa Carpenter Holmes – a Tenant Advocate with Murra Mia Tenant Advocacy Service. Neissa assist tenants in the Illawarra and Shoalhaven area. Her day to day work involves giving advice to tenants, representing clients at Tribunal, following up with clients’ cases, negotiating with housing providers, and referring tenant to other services for non-tenancy related assistance.
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What you need to know about rent bidding

Auctioneer's hammer - graphic representation
Rent bidding happens when there’s a shortage of available rental properties, so prospective tenants make an offer to pay rent above the advertised price in order to secure a property. Now, we don’t blame renters for this. Right now, a rental crisis continues to unfold across much of regional NSW.  With so few properties available to rent, there are dozens if not hundreds of applicants for every property, and renters are becoming desperate to find a home. We are seeing a rise in agents and landlords taking this opportunity to actively solicit rent bidding to maximize income and exploit desperate tenants, which we think is unethical and unlawful.
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Responses to Homelessness, January 2021

Line drawing of a blue house
Check out our submission to the NSW Audit Office's Audit of the NSW Government's responses to homelessness. Everyone deserves a safe, secure, affordable home, and the NSW Government is failing to meet its commitments to ensure our communities' well-being.
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No country for young renters?

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Young renters do it tough. Expensive rents, share houses, problems with flatmates, the risk of eviction, dodgy landlords, worry about bonds and outstanding repairs are just the tip of the iceberg. While renters under the age of 25 make up a significant percentage of tenants in NSW, and are living in some of the worst conditions, our research has shown they do not contact Tenants Advice and Advocacy Services (TAASs) at the same rate as other age groups. We want to change that!
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Tenants' Union Annual Report 2019-2020

Tenants' Union Annual Report Cover
The past year has been an extraordinary one for the Tenants’ Union, by any measure. Unprecedented bushfires and then flooding across NSW drove many displaced tenants to tenancy services for support. Several months of natural disasters then gave way to the COVID-19 pandemic which not only drove a record number of tenants to our online resources looking for information and advice but it forced the Tenants’ Union’s own staff to start working remotely. During these external challenges, this year the Tenants’ Union was also forced to look for a new office space and recruit a new CEO. It has been an incredible year of change, but the staff at the Tenants’ Union have taken it in their stride and risen to every challenge. 
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