State Government – news and analysis

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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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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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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Renters' Guide to COVID-19

Renters' Guide to COVID-19
The Renters' Guide to COVID-19 covers common questions about renting in New South Wales during the Coronavirus pandemic. The Tenants' Union of NSW is working hard to keep this Guide up to date.
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We need to talk about the landlord

Graphic of a family in a house, wearing masks, virus outside
We don’t only need to talk about the relationship between tenants and landlords – we also need to talk about the landlords themselves. A key flaw exposed through the response to COVID‑19 is the profile of those who act as landlords in Australia. They are heavily indebted. They are mostly without training or expertise. As a result, they were scared and desperate and clinging firmly to the one power dynamic they felt they had control over. The need for a more compassionate response to tenants was as apparent to everyone as were the barriers.
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Avoiding the spring of carnage: NSW Government rental assistance during the COVID-19 crisis

Graphic image, housingscape in relief with COVID19 stylised virus image in blue background.
This blog outlines what rental assistance programs are available to tenants in the private rental market in New South Wales. Further, it asks whether this assistance is adequate to ensure ‘impacted’ tenants have the support required, so their rent does not accrue as a debt ... and become a rent ‘time bomb’ at the end of the 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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The NSW evictions moratorium: an explainer

Wooden cut out of house, small piles of coins placed beside the cut out.
Yesterday (15 April) the measures announced by the NSW Government on Monday to support renters kicked into gear. This means NSW now has implemented a 6 month moratorium on evictions, but it’s complicated. It doesn't cover all evictions, or all renters. This blog post tries to answer some of your immediate questions. Who exactly does the moratorium cover? How will it work in practice? And what about the rent?
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No Bang for your Bond!

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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Theresa May shows Gladys the way on eviction reform

Theresa May shows Gladys the way on eviction reform
Theresa May’s government in the UK has shown that supporting a fairer, balanced renting system is possible for conservative governments. Last week May and Housing Minister James Brokenshire announced that legislation was to be written to end unfair ‘no grounds’ evictions. Landlords will no longer be able to end tenancies either at the end of a fixed-term or outside a contract period without giving any reason at all. Instead, there will be a list of reasonable grounds where although the tenant has not breached the lease, the landlord will be able regain possession of the property.
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