Tenants' Union news

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Latest news and analysis

Promise of a big spend on social housing: Did the NSW budget deliver?

18/11/2020
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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Tracking NSW Govt Future Direction Commitments

17/11/2020
A breakdown of the contracted providers and dwellings under the Communities Plus and Social and Affordable Housing Funds programs.
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Celebrating NAIDOC Week: Always Was, Always Will Be.

16/11/2020
NAIDOC
Tenant Advocates have joined in NAIDOC 2020 celebrations across NSW, in person and online. Western Aboriginal Tenants' Advice and Advocacy Service participated in the Dubbo NAIDOC event. They provided resources and information, and talked about how WATAAS supports the community with tenancy matters.
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Staying Connected – TAAS Conference 2020

12/11/2020
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

12/11/2020
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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NEWTAAS Annual Report 2020

04/11/2020
NEWTAAS Annual Report
I always start these reports by saying that it’s been a remarkable year, but 2020 has certainly exceeded all expectations. Like every organisation, New England and Western Tenants Advice and Advocacy Service has been, and continues to be, affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, often in unexpected ways.
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What could the NSW Religious Freedoms Bill mean for renters?

19/10/2020
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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Pets and strata - a win! But it's only the first step.

15/10/2020
Photo of young toddler seated next to labrador dog.
On Monday, 12 October 2020 the NSW Court of Appeal found that a strata by-law that places a ban on pets breaches NSW strata scheme legislation and is invalid. A blanket ban on pets, they found, is “harsh, unconscionable or oppressive”.
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Tenants’ Union of NSW welcomes a 6-month extension on support measures for NSW renters

23/09/2020
COVID19 and housing graphic
The Tenants’ Union of NSW welcomes today’s announcement from the NSW Government confirming the extension of moratorium protections for renters through until the end of March. “The pandemic and its’ impacts are ongoing. We know many renters across the state are finding it hard to make rent and cover all their bills,” said Leo Patterson Ross, CEO of Tenants’ Union of NSW. “Minister Anderson’s announcement today will come as an enormous relief for people renting who’ve been worrying about how they’ll keep a roof over their head in the coming months”.
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Upcoming changes to planning laws: TUNSW submission on the proposed Housing Diversity SEPP

22/09/2020
House under construction
Last week the Tenants' Union of NSW provided comment on the Department of Planning's proposal for a new Housing Diversity SEPP (State Environmental Planning Policy). The new SEPP will consolidate three previous SEPPs, including the Affordable Rental Housing SEPP, and update and amend all three in the process. The changes proposed look to do a number of things, including introducing new planning 'housing types' including Build-to-Rent (BTR), purpose built student housing and co-living developments, as well as change the current definition and planning controls for boarding houses.
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