Public and community housing – news and analysis

Vale John Mant – supporter of TAAS

John Mant
VALE JOHN MANT, 1936-2021: The tenants of New South Wales owe a big thankyou to John Mant who died on 10 July, aged 84. He left a legacy still in the making, especially in the field of urban planning. He also made a big contribution to the creation and ongoing support for tenants advice and advocacy services in NSW
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Call for systemic change amid Northern Rivers housing crisis

Sally
The Northern Rivers region is beset by soaring rental prices, social housing issues, a crisis of housing instability and homelessness. In this article Sally Latter, Coordinator of the Northern Rivers Tenants Advice and Advocacy Service, shows why it's time to end no-grounds evictions and transform the housing system.
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A day in the life of Tenant Advocate Neissa Carpenter Holmes

Neissa
We interview Neissa Carpenter Holmes – a Tenant Advocate with Murra Mia Tenant Advocacy Service. Neissa assist tenants in the Illawarra and Shoalhaven area. Her day to day work involves giving advice to tenants, representing clients at Tribunal, following up with clients’ cases, negotiating with housing providers, and referring tenant to other services for non-tenancy related assistance.
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Public housing maintenance: a 'real fix' needed

Follow up review NSW Parli Inquiry graphic
Yesterday the Tenants' Union NSW's CEO Leo Patterson Ross and Policy and Advocacy Coordinator Jemima Mowbray attended a public hearing of the Follow Up Review of the Management of Public Housing Maintenance Contracts. We were able to speak to the submission made by the Tenants' Union and the Public Interest Advocacy Centre. Here we publish our opening statement to the Inquiry in full.
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Responses to Homelessness, January 2021

Line drawing of a blue house
Check out our submission to the NSW Audit Office's Audit of the NSW Government's responses to homelessness. Everyone deserves a safe, secure, affordable home, and the NSW Government is failing to meet its commitments to ensure our communities' well-being.
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Fire safety in your rented home

Pic setting out smoke alarm requirements
As we are heading back into the bushfire season in NSW we thought it would be a good time to remind us all on how to ensure our homes are bushfire prepared and general fire safety in the home. Olivia and Eloise at the Tenants' Union NSW set out how to reduce fire risks, and the responsibility landlords have to ensure working smoke alarms in rented homes.
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Practical advocacy for social housing tenants

Text reads social housing clinic
Marrickville Legal Centre is home to two tenancy services – the Inner West Tenants’ Advice and Advocacy Service (IWTAAS) and Northern Sydney Area Tenants Service (NSATS). The services provide free, confidential legal information, advice and advocacy to renters living in social and private residential housing.  The services have recently introduced a Social Housing Clinic for residents of Sydney’s inner west and Northern Sydney area.
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Tenants' Union Annual Report 2019-2020

Tenants' Union Annual Report Cover
The past year has been an extraordinary one for the Tenants’ Union, by any measure. Unprecedented bushfires and then flooding across NSW drove many displaced tenants to tenancy services for support. Several months of natural disasters then gave way to the COVID-19 pandemic which not only drove a record number of tenants to our online resources looking for information and advice but it forced the Tenants’ Union’s own staff to start working remotely. During these external challenges, this year the Tenants’ Union was also forced to look for a new office space and recruit a new CEO. It has been an incredible year of change, but the staff at the Tenants’ Union have taken it in their stride and risen to every challenge. 
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Promise of a big spend on social housing: Did the NSW budget deliver?

Pic of new housing - neighbourhoods, social housing possibly renewal
In early October NSW Treasurer Dominic Perrottet in an interview with the Sydney Morning Herald suggested social and affordable housing would be a priority in the November NSW budget. In this blog we unpack what is required in NSW in terms of 'more social housing', and what was announced in the budget yesterday (17 November 2020).
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Staying Connected – TAAS Conference 2020

TAAS Conference 2020
Last week, over 100 Tenant Advocates participated in our first online Tenants Advice and Advocacy Services Conference. We explored a range of topics, including changes to tenancy laws, policy reform, and advocate work practice. We looked in detail at the effects COVID-19 has had on tenants lives, the Tribunal’s practices, tenancy law, and mental health. 
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