Tenants Advice and Advocacy Services – news and announcements

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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Contact Hunter Tenants' Advice and Advocacy Service

Access is via the telephone advice line on 4969 7666 or freecall 1800 654 504. If you can't get through during advice hours, please keep trying. You can leave a message outside advice hours and we will endeavour to give you a call back within 24 hours. If you have an order of the Tribunal, a notice of termination or are being threatened with eviction please fill in the contact form here...
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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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Tenants' Union Annual Report 2018-2019

Tenants' Union Annual Reports
It's been another year of great results for the Tenants' Union of NSW: 1 million sessions on tenants.org.au for critical renting information; 3,934 people helped with their renting issues; 1,500 workers trained in Residential Tenancy law; $80,000 recovered for 93 parks residents overcharged for electricity; We got 'no grounds' evictions on the political and media agenda, and built support for changes to make renting laws fairer. Read more in our Annual Report.
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NEWTAAS 2019 Annual Report

NEWTAAS team
It has once again been an incredibly busy year for the New England and Western Tenants' Advice and Advocacy Service. This year we have had a few changes in staff, as well as significant casework and law reform challenges to deal with. In this Annual Report you'll also find short case studies and learn about cases where we’ve felt that we’ve been able to assist a client who really needed us.
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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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