#WeLiveHere community action

Brian with his dog Ruby in their apartment
Waterloo renter Brian, with his dog Ruby
#WeLiveHere2017 was a community action led by local residents of Redfern Waterloo. Coloured lights lit up the two social housing tower blocks in Waterloo – Matavai and Turanga – that have dominated the southern skyline of Sydney since 1976. In 2015 the NSW State Government announced the redevelopment of the Waterloo Estate, including six large tower blocks and several low rise dwellings. Some 3,600 residents – many of them elderly or people with a disability – will be relocated in the process. The Tenants' Union spoke to two residents who participated in the #WeLiveHere action, Felix and Brian, to get their perspectives.
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From Millers Point to Glebe

Paddi O'Leary in front of a jacaranda tree.
Paddi, former Millers Point tenant
Paddi O’Leary was a tenant in social housing at Millers Point and participated in tenant action to reverse the policy of relocation and also supported tenants through the process of relocation. She talked with Paul van Reyk from the Tenants' Union about her relocation from there to Glebe. "That was the big thing in all of this, the loss of community. You can’t create it from outside,” said Paddi.
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Transfer of Tenancy Management from Public to Community Housing

In October 2016 the Government announced the transfer of tenancy management for thousands of tenanted public housing properties from the Department of Family and Community Services (FACS Housing) to registered Community Housing Providers (CHPs). Expressions of interest were called for, and CHPs invited to tender for contracts. The successful tenders have recently been announced, with around 14,000 properties to be transferred to nine CHPs across a number of regions.
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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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Redeveloping Waterloo housing

Inner Sydney Voice cover
Inner Sydney Voice have produced a special edition all about Waterloo and public housing renewal. It's really excellent - check it out.
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Sometimes you need help to get on the right track

Raymond Morris with WESTS coordinator Franya Repolusk
Raymond Morris with WESTS coordinator Franya Repolusk
Raymond Morris is a public housing tenant who's very active in his community – he's mentored and supported hundreds of people in recovery from drug and alcohol addiction. Last year, Raymond put up a carport at his place to secure his car. However Housing NSW informed him that is was an illegal structure, ordered him to take it down, and also served him with an eviction notice. So Raymond got advice from the Western Sydney Tenants' Advice and Advocacy Service (WESTS) and went to the Tribunal.
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Water Metering Win

Jen Ringold and Lorraine Devere of MRAG
Jen and Lorraine saving water.
Pay only for what you use. MRAG and TU win for social housing residents.
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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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A strong voice for tenants

Charmaine Jones, with TU staff, Patrycja, Jemima, Anne and Julie
Charmaine Jones, with TU staff
Charmaine Jones, social housing tenant and Tenants' Union Treasurer, reflects on her involvement with the TU and the changes in the sphere of social housing.
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Stories from 40 years of advocacy

Robert Mowbray
Robert Mowbray, TU Project Officer
Robert Mowbray was a founder of the TU and continues to be active in the movement for the rights of tenants through his work as the TU Older Tenants Project Officer and his work with residents of Miller's Point. In this article for Tenant News Robert recounts some his favourite stories from his years of activism.
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