Tenants' Union news and analysis

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Secure, affordable tenancies and support for tenants key to preventing homelessness

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Today the Tenants' Union NSW's CEO Leo Patterson Ross and Policy and Advocacy Coordinator Jemima Mowbray attended a public hearing of the Inquiry into Homelessness in Australia to speak to the Tenants' Union's submission. We've published our opening statement here.
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COVID-19 factsheet in 7 community languages

Covid-19 community language factsheet
The Tenants' Union has published a basic factsheet in 7 community languages summarising renters rights under COVID-19 regulations. The factsheet has information on paying rent, evictions, the rules on access to rented properties for getting repairs done, inspections for sale of premises, and other issues that renters are facing.
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Tenants need to be listened to: community support – not heavy-handed policing

Tall apartment building with 'Our home' on the side
On the weekend over 3,000 public housing tenants in Melbourne were put into an immediate enforced lockdown by the VIC government due to a spike in COVID-19 in the area. Others in the community are not facing the same level of restriction because their housing and community infrastructure is of a higher standard. This is punishment simply for the crime of being poor in a society that places the blame for poverty on the people experiencing it.
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Economic stimulus proposal: Healthy & affordable homes

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The Tenants' Union, together with over 50 other organisations, is calling for governments to invest in energy efficiency and solar PV for low income homes to stimulate tens of thousands of jobs, cut energy bills and emissions.
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60 day stop on COVID-19 evictions ends, restrictions on evictions continue

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From 14 June the initial 60 day stop on evictions for rent arrears where the household is in financial hardship due to COVID-19 ended. However, there are still restrictions on the eviction of impacted tenants for rent arrears. After 14 June, the landlord may only give a termination notice or apply to the Tribunal if the landlord has participated in the NSW Fair Trading formal rent negotiations process in good faith and only if it is fair and reasonable in the circumstances of the case. Only the Tribunal can determine if the eviction order should be made.
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International student COVID-19 crisis accommodation

The NSW Government is funding temporary crisis accommodation for vulnerable international students in NSW during the current COVID-19 pandemic. The scheme will be delivered through approved student accommodation and homestay providers. Service NSW is administering the application process and will allocate the accommodation. Applicants will not be able to self-select their accommodation.
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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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Renters' Guide to COVID-19

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The Tenants' Union of NSW is regularly updating our Renters' Guide to COVID-19. The Guide covers common questions about renting in NSW during the Coronavirus COVID-19 crisis.
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Change Management: Social Housing Management Transfers Program Best Practice Report

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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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New report finds investment in social housing is critical to Australia’s post-COVID-19 economic recovery  

Three initiatives are critical to Australia’s post COVID-19 economic recovery, a new report finds: build additional social and affordable housing stock across NSW; repair old social housing stock; and rapidly acquire properties in the private market to find a permanent solution for rough sleepers and others in temporary/crisis accommodation.
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