Older people – news and analysis

Supporting older renters to 'age-in-place'

Older woman holding drivers license - DCJ Housing image - Seniors Strategy
Recently the Tenants’ Union of NSW made a submission to NSW Department of Communities and Justice as part of their consultations for the next NSW Government strategy for seniors. We recommended the NSW Government implement policy and benchmarks that ensure older renters are supported to remain living in a community they have a strong attachment to, either in their existing residence or alternate local accommodation with service supports.
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Tenants need to be listened to: community support – not heavy-handed policing

Tall apartment building with 'Our home' on the side
On the weekend over 3,000 public housing tenants in Melbourne were put into an immediate enforced lockdown by the VIC government due to a spike in COVID-19 in the area. Others in the community are not facing the same level of restriction because their housing and community infrastructure is of a higher standard. This is punishment simply for the crime of being poor in a society that places the blame for poverty on the people experiencing it.
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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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Electricity win – a real circuit breaker

Parklea land lease community residents
A few weeks ago the Tenants' Union of NSW successfully represented 93 residents from Parklea residential land lease community in Tribunal applications regarding unfair electricity charges. Residents will now receive a refund totalling approximately $80,000 for incorrect charges in their embedded electricity network dating from November 2015. This important case will assist residents across NSW to challenge overcharging for their electricity.
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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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Changes to the law for 'protected tenants'

Protected tenant's roof
The leaking roof over the home of a 93-year-old protected tenant.
From 1 July 2019 the law regarding ‘protected tenants’ changed. They previously were covered under the provisions of the Landlord and Tenant (Amendment) Act 1948. No-one knows how many protected tenancies remain, but in 2019 their number is small. Some five years ago we estimated that there were 400 to 600 protected tenancies across New South Wales. Today their numbers probably have halved.
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'Protected tenants' infosheet

Leaking roof
The leaking roof over the home of a 93-year-old protected tenant.
A small number of tenants of residential premises across New South Wales live in premises covered by the former Landlord and Tenant (Amendment) Act 1948 (‘1948 Act’). They are known as ‘protected tenants’. Unlike most tenants, they are not covered under the main provisions of the Residential Tenancies Act 2010 ('2010 Act') because of Section 7(a) of that Act.
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Millers Point: through the looking glass

Jane Bennett Lower Fort Street
Robert Mowbray reflects on the forced relocation of public housing tenants from Millers Point. He collects a selection of posts that report and discuss on the events and issues.
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The sale of Millers Point properties has ended: it has made inequality worse

Millers Point - not for sale photo
With the sale of the final two terrace houses on Saturday, 3 November 2018, Property NSW announced the end of the Millers Point sales program. Announcement of the successful tender for the sale of the Sirius building is expected any day now. We'll take this moment to reflect on a number of ways to remember this chapter.
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A longer lease on life: issues for older renters

Older people faces
With a surplus of $3.9 billion for 2016-17, the 2018 NSW State Budget had its winners and losers. The latter include seniors and renters. This blog examine some of the issues confronting older renters.
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