Tenants' Union news

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Latest news and analysis

Everyone deserves a healthy home: Climate disruption and rental homes in NSW

graphic with houses, flood and desert
Climate change is not new. Scientists have been monitoring the effects of increased carbon in our atmosphere, and the reduction of greenhouse gases has been a well publicised global issue since at least the 1997 Kyoto Protocol. We are now living through climate disruption. Not every day will be hotter or every year a drought. But it will impact on our lives. And the houses we reside in are a major factor in ensuring a healthy and comfortable life. In this blog, Rita Wilkinson, looks at the challenges renters race in this context to stay comfortable and healthy in their homes.
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Joint media release: Disappointing NSW budget fails to invest in public and community housing

NSW Budget 2022 - 2023 Response
The Tenants' Union of NSW along with NSW Council of Social Services, Domestic Violence NSW, Community Housing Industry Association NSW, Y Foundations, and Homelessness NSW are in uproar at lack of funding for safe, accessible, and affordable housing for low-income households in the NSW State Budget.
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'I'm living in my car': Older people and homelessness in NSW

UNSEEN Chrome Car - an installation art piece on older women's experience of homelessness
The Standing Committee on Social Issues of the New South Wales Legislative Council currently is conducting an Enquiry into 'Homelessness amongst older people aged over 55 in New South Wales'. We provided a submiossion. In this blog we run through some of the key experiences and problems we identify in our submission, and outline our key recommendations on what needs to change.
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A new Federal Ministry announced. Who is responsible for housing?

Australian Parliament House at dusk photograph taken by wikimedia user thennicke
The Albanese Labor Government this week announced their new cabinet line up, with 19 MPs and 4 Senators included in the new 23 person cabinet. In this blog we provide a quick rundown of the new Ministers responsible for housing and other portfolios relating to rental housing. We also foreshadow what we should expect from these Ministers looking back at commitments made by Labor in relation to housing in the lead up to the election. 
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Granny flat blues – challenges and trends

Basic granny flat, door open. Photo taken by Susan Fitzgerald, Source: Flickr.
One outcome of the current housing crisis has been an increase in the construction and occupation of ‘granny flats’. All of the typical tenancy problems come up in relation to granny flats, as well as some additional challenges. This blog explores the issues and trends we see emerging by looking at disputes that can arise at installation, during a granny flat tenancy & when the tenancy ends.
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The case to end blanket pet bans for renters in NSW

Karl Barx the staffie
NSW saw changes to strata regulation in late 2020 that had implications for owner-occupiers, and a small proportion of renters, in strata properties. However, as we outline here, these changes do not remove the barriers from the vast majority of renting households wishing to get a pet. NSW tenancy law still allows for blanket ‘no pets’ clauses, so landlords can continue to refuse requests to get a pet for any reason, or no reason at all. Here's why we're proposing that needs to change.
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Renting Questionnaire Federal Election 2022

ballot boxes in the shape of houses, on a background of blue sky and orange ground
How do the parties plan to respond to the needs of renters following the Federal Election on May 21st? The National Association of Tenants Organisations asked. Check out the responses here.
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NATO Federal Election Questionnaire 2022: Policies and priorities for a fair and secure renting system

Light bulb with text reading: "What commitments would you like to see from parties and candidates to deliver a fair and secure renting system?"
The National Association of Tenants' Organisations (NATO) recently wrote to all parties and independent candidates inviting them to respond to our Federal Election Questionnaire. We invited them to tell us about their position and policies on strengthening residential tenancy rights and increasing the supply of affordable social housing for the more than 2.1 million households across Australia who rent their homes.
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Maggie's renting story: Living in and Leaving Affordable Housing 

Twitter post about experience living in affordable housing - transcribed in blog
Maggie has lived in an Affordable Housing apartment with their partner and children for three-and-a-half years. They're about to move out, into a property they'll be privately renting from some family members. As part of the Make Renting Fair #MyRentedHome social media week of action, they shared their story of their experience of renting in Affordable Housing
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Waiting for social housing? Tell your story

Are you on the waiting list for social housing in NSW, Queensland or Tasmania? If so, researchers in a new project would like to learn more about what life is like as you wait for a social housing property to become available. By sharing your story, you will help them provide recommendations to governments and other organisations to improve the social housing system and better support people as they wait.
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