Gardens, yards, lawns – news and analysis

A day in the life of Esther Smith, Tenant Advocate

Esther at GSATS
Esther Smith is a Tenant Advocate at the Greater Sydney Aboriginal Tenants' Service (GSATS). In this interview she talks about her day-to-day experiences as an advocate, as well as what keeps her motivated and inspired.
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Q+A: Water restrictions, drought and rental bond

Watering can
"The agent is demanding all of my bond to pay for turf and lawn work. The lawn is not what it was at the beginning of the tenancy. But, we are in drought and there are water restrictions. It does not seem fair that I have to pay for turf etc when the lawn would probably have died anyway. Where do I stand? What can I do?"
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Growing community in a tenant-run garden

Todd and Bent Street tenants
Tenants from Todd & Bent Street
The public housing tenants at Todd and Bent Street have been working hard to create a vibrant community and a luscious community garden. Thanks to their love and care, a permaculture garden now thrives in an area which used to be neglected. We spoke to some of the residents and asked them about the garden and their experiences as tenants.
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Putting down roots

Alison's garden
Alison's garden
In this piece, boarding house resident Alison Jolly tells her story: "The housing situation for older single women like me (I’m 61) can be difficult unless they own their own home. Many of us divorced our husbands after years of domesticity which had left us unskilled for the work force, without superannuation, and often with an extreme lack of confidence. I think women also like to potter and enjoy homey things like baking etc. so housing is important to them. We also miss out (as do grandfathers) on having our grandchildren visit if our housing is dangerous and unclean."
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