Public and community housing – news and analysis

No Bang for your Bond!

Tenant Advocates at the Network Meeting
Tenant Advocates at the Network Meeting
This is the initial response from Tenants' Union of NSW, resourcing body for 19 NSW-based Tenancy Advice and Advocacy Services, to the release of funding agreements from 2019-2022 for NSW Government funding for the Tenants Advice and Advocacy Program. We welcome the continued funding of tenancy services. Renters in NSW need and appreciate the services they receive from TAASs. However, we estimate 1 in 3 seeking assistance are missing out. It makes no sense that funding isn’t increased when we know there is interest available from renters' own money in the Rental Bond Board and Property Services account.
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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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Renting art across Sydney

Edge poster
Art reflecting and questioning housing is currently on display across Sydney. One of the artists, Emily Valentine, comments, "In our real estate centric society, photographs of houses – empty, clean, white, and devoid of people bombard us. These images build a fantasy of the perfect state of houses, but also as homes as vacant spaces. This is abnormal."
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New Tenancy Law Regulations – have your say

Liv
Liv Todhunter, Tenant Advocate
The Residential Tenancies Amendment (Review) Act 2018 passed late last year – containing a number of positive changes, and some shortcomings. Regulations are currently being drafted; we encourage you to have your say via the Fair Trading website (before 2nd August). Liv Todhunter, Tenant Advocate and Team Leader at the Illawarra and South Coast Tenants’ Advice Service spoke to the Illawarra Mercurcy about the changes.
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Guide to public housing rental bonds

Tenants whose homes are managed by FACS Housing may be asked to pay a rental bond. The rules around this bond are different to bonds in the private market in a number of ways.
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Tenant Advocates come together for Network Meeting

Tenant Advocates at the Network Meeting
Tenant Advocates from across New South Wales recently came together for another successful Network Meeting organised by the Tenants' Union. There were sessions on the new domestic violence tenancy laws, the 'pay to stay' principle in relation to rent arrears, electricity in land lease communities, the NDIS, social housing transfers, and much more.
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In/formal housing – is more formality the answer?

Leo Patterson Ross at the Housing Theory Symposium
This is the text of an address given by Senior Policy Officer Leo Patterson Ross to the Housing Theory Symposium 2019. Leo argues that "Like water, if we do not get the supply of housing right, it will get to people in uncontrolled ways, providing too much to some and preventing others from getting enough. Along the way, some of it might get tainted and become unhealthy, unsafe. There will always be luxury water, sold in little bottles. But if we ensure cheap tap water continues to flow then those who need it will never go thirsty."
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A tenant's guide to the NSW election 2019

A tenant's guide to the NSW Election 2019
We asked all the political parties 10 key questions about housing in NSW. This guide compiles their answers and compares key tenant demographics for each electorate. Addressing the state’s affordability crisis and implementing amendments to the Residential Tenancies Act was front of mind for many of those who responded. We also asked about pets, boarding houses, residential land lease communities, building quality and more.
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Video: Tenant-focussed renewal

Jen Rignold is a public housing tenant in Airds Bradbury, and a member of the advisory committee on Principles for Tenant Focussed Renewal. In this video, she describes why an agreement is important and shares her learning on processes that are tenant-focussed. Jen speaks about the need to build respectful relationships, to listen and be heard, and to form vibrant communities.
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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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