Community Legal Centres – news and analysis

Reflections on 10 years of Tenant Advocacy

Maz at Tweed Heads
After 10 and a half years, Maralyn Schofield is leaving her role as Coordinator of the Northern Rivers Tenants' Advice and Advocacy Service. We took the opportunity to ask her for some of her reflections on the changes she's seen in the world of tenancy – and the things she'd like to see change in future...
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Thank you Julie Foreman!

Julie Foreman at the Town Hall Assembly
Julie Foreman, Housing Assembly 2019
Julie Foreman is moving on from her role as Tenants' Union Executive Officer, and the Tenants' Union Board and staff would like to thank her for her fantastic contribution. It has been the Board's absolute pleasure to work with Julie for her entire tenure at the Tenants' Union. Some of the Directors have been on the Board nearly as long as Julie has been at the helm, while others have only just joined, but we are all united in saying she will be dearly missed.
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Advocating for independent living

Mary and Amanda
Mary Flowers and Amanda Elgazzar – Northern Rivers Tenant Advocates.
Recently, the Northern Rivers Tenants' Advice and Advocacy Service was able to assist a tenant to maintain her independent living. The tenant lives in social housing, in a modest three bedroom home where she has lived all her life, in a country town. She has a severe visual impairment, and until recently was cared for by her mother. Sadly, her mother passed away not long ago. Her mother held the tenancy, so when she died, our client was given a six month fixed term agreement, while her eligibility for social housing was assessed.
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Advice and advocacy for renters in every community

Tenant Advocates at the Network Meeting
Tenant Advocates are hard at work all across NSW – making sure tenants know their rights, so we can keep on building good homes and communities. Here are some of the recent examples of the work of our Network, from stalls in the community, to our Network Conference, to winning compensation for tenants, to resisting unfair evications, and helping tenants who are facing mutiple disadvantage.
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Important info for bushfire affected tenants

Fire icon
We at the Tenants' Union are shocked and saddened by the unprecedented bushfire emergency of the last months. Some of you may have lost your rental accommodation to the fires or may have had your accommodation damaged. Some of you may have family, friends or neighbours who have been affected. We have compiled these resources which may be helpful.
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Tenants' Union Annual Report 2018-2019

Tenants' Union Annual Reports
It's been another year of great results for the Tenants' Union of NSW: 1 million sessions on tenants.org.au for critical renting information; 3,934 people helped with their renting issues; 1,500 workers trained in Residential Tenancy law; $80,000 recovered for 93 parks residents overcharged for electricity; We got 'no grounds' evictions on the political and media agenda, and built support for changes to make renting laws fairer. Read more in our Annual Report.
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Sector welcomes important reforms to tenancy laws to further protect victims-survivors of domestic violence

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We welcome the passing today of important legislation to improve the safety of domestic violence victims-survivors renting in NSW. Today’s Bill strengthens reforms which commenced in February this year which allow victims-survivors of domestic violence to end their tenancy immediately without penalty.
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No Bang for your Bond!

Tenant Advocates at the Network Meeting
This is the initial response from Tenants' Union of NSW, resourcing body for 19 NSW-based Tenancy Advice and Advocacy Services, to the release of funding agreements from 2019-2022 for NSW Government funding for the Tenants Advice and Advocacy Program. We welcome the continued funding of tenancy services. Renters in NSW need and appreciate the services they receive from TAASs. However, we estimate 1 in 3 seeking assistance are missing out. It makes no sense that funding isn’t increased when we know there is interest available from renters' own money in the Rental Bond Board and Property Services account.
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Reflections of a Blue Mountains Tenant Advocate

Jo Hibbert
Jo Hibbert, Tenant Advocate
Jo Hibbert has been a Tenant Advocate at the Blue Mountains Tenants’ Advice and Advocacy Service for seven years. Now she’s retiring for a well-earned break, so we took the opportunity to ask her for some reflections about her time in the world of tenancy. She talks about some of her experiences at the Tribunal, and the way the workload for Advocates has increased, but the funding hasn't. She also tells the story of a tenant who she defended from eviction six times!
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Tenant Advocates speak out against unfair evictions

Tenant Advocates at the Inner Sydney Tenants Advice and Advocacy Service
Inner Sydney Tenant Advocates
Following the NSW government’s recent decision not to abolish ‘no grounds’ evictions as part of upcoming rental reforms, Nicole Kennedy (Tenancy Coordinator at Inner Sydney Tenants Advice and Advocacy Service at Redfern Legal Centre) spoke to Eastside Radio 89.7 FM about how these laws impact tenants.
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