Federal Government – news and analysis

We need to talk about the landlord

Graphic of a family in a house, wearing masks, virus outside
We don’t only need to talk about the relationship between tenants and landlords – we also need to talk about the landlords themselves. A key flaw exposed through the response to COVID‑19 is the profile of those who act as landlords in Australia. They are heavily indebted. They are mostly without training or expertise. As a result, they were scared and desperate and clinging firmly to the one power dynamic they felt they had control over. The need for a more compassionate response to tenants was as apparent to everyone as were the barriers.
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Uncertainty and fear: evictions during the pandemic

woman looking at a phone
"Isn’t there supposed to be a ban on evictions at the moment?"

Two weeks ago Prime Minister Scott Morrison, following a meeting of national cabinet, announced states and territories had agreed to put a moratorium on evictions for the next six months for people in financial distress, unable to meet their rental commitments. Local Tenants Advice and Advocacy Services have been flooded with calls the last few weeks from people seeking advice in the context of the COVID19 health crisis.
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Rent relief language - quick explainer

Notepad with doodle of houses and text reading: Rent relief? Abatement? Reduction? Control? Freeze? What do they mean?
There’s a lot of phrases being used at the moment to describe some kind of change to the way we’ve gotten used to renting happening in Australia. People are discussing all sorts of ways for government to step in. Some of these phrases though, might not mean what people think they do.
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Negative gearing is still not your friend

Balacava - negative gearing is not your friend
Negative gearing remains a major issue for tenants - we've written more than 50 articles about it! This article has been one of the most widely read over the last few years, and now we've updated the data. In summary: negative gearing does not cause an individual landlord to charge less rent; negative gearing does not create net additional rental housing; negative gearing has contributed to more higher-income households renting; negative gearing has contributed to low-value properties dropping out of the rental market.
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Big numbers and good intentions: Labor's Affordable Housing Plan

ALP announcement
The Federal ALP conference is happening in Adelaide at the moment, and one of the big early announcements was a plan to build a lot of 'affordable' housing. This can probably be treated as the first big housing announcement of the coming election campaign. It has been met with near-rapturous support from community housing providers and their supporters, like the Everybody's Home campaign. Others, like ACOSS have been more circumspect. And some on twitter have raised some concerns. Let's dig in to what the policy is, and what we might expect to deliver.
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Everybody's Home – campaign to fix Australia's housing system

Everybody's home campaign
Everybody's Home is a new campaign by a coalition of organisations in the housing and community sectors. The campaign will bring national attention to reforms urgently needed to fix Australia’s housing system. The TU is happy to be supporting this campaign aimed at improving housing for everyone, including renters.
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Proposed Automatic Rent Deduction Scheme may reduce fairness

The Automatic Rent Deduction Scheme (ARDS) as proposed by the Social Services Legislative Amendment (Housing Affordability) Bill 2017 if passed will have a detrimental impact on arrears and debt management processes employed by social housing landlords in New South Wales. The Tenants' Union has made a submission about our concerns to the Senate Inquiry in the proposed Bill.
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NSW Housing and Homelessness peaks welcome Commonwealth funding

TUNSW has joined with other Housing and Homelessness peaks to welcome funding commitments made in the Commonwealth Government’s Budget 2017-18. 
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Federal Government must not let us down - ACOSS and National Shelter release 6 point National Housing Affordability Plan

Releasing today its 6 point "Housing Australia's People: A Serious Plan'", ACOSS and National Shelter set out a comprehensive package of reforms that would deliver growth in social and affordability housing for people on low and modest incomes and take the heat out of the open housing market for all.
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Funding cuts to Community Legal Centres reversed

Funding cuts to Community Legal Centres reversed
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