Public and community housing – news and analysis

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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80 to 55: the case for lowering the age for early allocation of social housing in NSW

Older renter - do I need to wait until I'm 80 until I get housing?
In this blog Robert Mowbray puts the argument for lowering the age for early allocation of social housing in NSW from aged 80 years to 55 years. We argue that older people, especially older women, are struggling in an insecure and unaffordable rental housing market and constantly face the possibility of homelessness which has a severe impact on older people, with premature ageing through earlier onset of health problems.
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What could the NSW Religious Freedoms Bill mean for renters?

Hands holding multicoloured and rainbow hearts
Last week, the Tenants’ Union signed on to a joint statement coordinated by Equality Australia opposing NSW One Nation's Anti-Discrimination Amendment (Religious Freedoms and Equality) Bill 2020, which is currently being considered by NSW Parliament. The Bill would allow people and organisations to use religion as an excuse to hurt, exclude and demean people. Riley Brooke unpacks what the Bill, if passed, could mean for renters.
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Report on the situation for NSW renters during COVID-19 demonstrates struggle ongoing, potentially getting worse

Picture: Report cover - Family in masks in house, covid virus graphic surrounds house
Tenants' Union of NSW Report released today demonstrates the struggle many NSW renters continue to face as a result of COVID-19. The report 'Supporting Renters During the Pandemic' provides evidence of the continued need for support for renting households across NSW during the pandemic and demonstrates the need for an extension and strengthening of moratorium protections.
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A 20 Year Vision for Housing - where are the renters?

NSW Housing Strategy Discussion Paper 2020
The TUNSW submission to the NSW Housing Strategy provides a focus on the need to address crucial issues for people renting their homes in NSW. We've published our submission and recommendations that encompass key priorities for renters.
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