Media and stakeholder engagement 2017-2018

The Tenants’ Union is frequently asked for comment on housing matters by media, government and non-government organisations. We are widely recognised as the lead voice on tenants issues in NSW.

Media engagements

Significant media interest in issues that are the focus of our work has seen the Tenants’ Union increase our media engagement in the last year with over 130 approaches. Highlights include:

  • 11 live to air and 8 recorded radio interviews
  • 5 recorded television interviews
  • Quoted in 38 print media articles, including 4 opinion pieces
  • Plus a number of media briefings

Topics covered included:

  • Growing population of renters
  • Tenants’ rights
  • Affordable housing and
  • government responses
  • No grounds terminations
  • Minimum standards in rentals
  • Impact of Airbnb
  • Rent bidding, bond alternatives, and other ‘proptech’
  • Tribunal jurisdiction
  • Law reform proposals
  • Build-to-let

We continue to enjoy a high level of engagement on our policy blog and social media platforms (refer to Communication and resources 2017-2018).

Leo on ABC National Wrap
In April 2018, ABC National Wrap included a 14 minute segment on renting and tenants’ rights which featured Leo Patterson Ross (Tenants’ Union Senior Policy Officer). Leo made the case that no renter should be evicted from their home without a reason.

Influencing key decisions makers

During the year we have had productive discussions with decision makers, including:

  • Office of The Hon. Matthew Kean MP, Minister for Innovation and Better Regulation
  • Office of The Hon. Mark Speakman MP, NSW Attorney-General
  • Luke Foley MP, NSW Opposition Leader
  • Yasmin Catley MP, Shadow Minister for Innovation and Better Regulation
  • Jenny Leong, NSW Greens housing spokesperson
  • Staff and Councillors at Randwick
  • and Inner West Council
  • Andrew Gavrielatos, Deputy Commissioner NSW Fair Trading
  • NSW Fair Trading Property Services
  • NSW Department of Finance and Services, Regulatory Policy
  • Real Estate Institute of NSW
  • Family and Community Services
  • Community Housing Industry Association

Relationships with tenants and non-government organisations on strategic advocacy

We engage with a range of organisations to further our mission by hearing of tenant and other renters experiences or advocating for tenants interests. These can include ongoing networks and relationships or one-off events. In 2017-18 they included:

  • Energy & Water Ombudsman NSW (EWON) Consultative Council
  • NCAT Consultative Committee
  • Cooperative Legal Service
  • Delivery Program Steering Committee (Legal Aid NSW)
  • Millers Point Advisory Board
  • Energy & Water Consumer Advocacy Program reference group
  • NGO Housing and Homelessness Alliance
  • Groundswell: Alliance of community organisations working with tenants on the impact of social housing renewal in Waterloo
  • Sydney Alliance assemblies and Housing Affordability Working Group
  • Liaison with tenant organisations in other states through the National Association of Tenants Organisations
  • Residential Parks Forum
  • Parks Legal Working Group
  • Newtown Neighbourhood Centre Boarding Houses Roundtable
  • Co-convened Law Reform and Policy Committee of CLCNSW
  • Discussions with Tenant Participation Service auspice organisations re engagement in program consultations
  • Engaged with Owner’s Corporation Network regarding short-term lets

The Tenants’ Union maintains positive relationships with tenant participation organisations and social housing
tenant groups who provide ongoing feedback on the local impact of state-wide policy decisions, including Waterloo Public Housing Action Group, Community Housing Tenant Network and Action for Public Housing.

Sydney Alliance welcomes the Tenants' Union
The Sydney Alliance welcomes the Tenants’ Union as a member. Pictured: Julie Foreman (TU Executive Officer) and Jemima Mowbray (TU Policy and Campaigns Officer) with other Alliance representatives. The Sydney Alliance is a diverse coalition of community organisations, faith-based organisations, unions and schools working together  to create positive change in our communities.

> Tenants' Union Annual Report 2017-2018 Contents