Public and community housing – news and analysis

Renters' Guide to COVID-19

Covid19 graphic
The Tenants' Union of NSW is regularly updating our Renters' Guide to COVID-19. The Guide covers common questions about renting in NSW during the Coronavirus COVID-19 crisis.
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Change Management: Social Housing Management Transfers Program Best Practice Report

Change management report graphic
Between October 2018 and September 2019 the management of more than 14,000 public housing tenancies across nine geographical regions of NSW was transferred from the management of the Department of Family and Community Services (FACS, now the Department of Communities and Justice or DCJ) to ten Community Housing Providers under contracts which last for twenty years. Since affected tenants had no voice or choice in the design or implementation of this program the Tenants’ Union has undertaken the vital task of observing and reviewing its implementation through the lens of tenants’ experience. This report focusses on the experiences of tenants during the transfer period and in the months following transfer.
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Are evictions stopped in NSW? Yes. But...

A stop on evictions! But...
From Wednesday 15th April the NSW Evictions Moratorium came into effect. So there is a stop on evictions, at least for 60 days – but not on all evictions and not for all people. For more detail, read our series of resources covering the eviction moratorium, rent and other issues during the COVID-19 crisis.
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Important changes to rental laws – 23 March 2020

Picture reading "Tenancy law changes: new rules for renting in NSW from 23 March..."
Important changes to tenancy law have come into effect as of 23 March 2020. These changes affect anyone renting a property in NSW (including people who rent both home and site in residential land lease communities). We have been working hard to update our factsheets so that you can be sure that this site is accurate and you're reading the most up-to-date information.
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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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Working to support People With Disability Australia

PWDA TU
The Tenants' Union is pleased to announce a new partnership with People with Disability Australia. We will be supporting PWDA's Disability Housing Advocacy Service, by providing legal support and advice, training, referrals and resources, in relation to tenancy law. The first matters we have advised on include repairs in social housing, and habitability in private rental.
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Antisocial antisocial behaviour management

hoodie reading 'anti anti social club'
Last Friday we made our submission to the statutory review of two sections of the Residential Tenancies Act 2010 that require mandatory eviction in social housing for a number of antisocial behaviours, and short eviction times for all social housing tenants.
We recommend a shift in approach. If you want to 'create better, safer communities' scrap the strikes and start investing in communities with a real increase in the resourcing of community based supports and programs that build connection, resilience and capacity for individuals and their communities.
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Balancing tenure security and mobility for productivity

Google earth image of Sydney including public housing, private housing and commercial buildings
Yesterday we submitted our thoughts in response to the NSW Productivity Commission discussion paper "Kickstarting the productivity conversation". We recommended a shift to land tax, for a more reliable property tax system that encourages better land use, and exploration of a different way to encourage meaningful supply with positive outcomes.
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