Housing News Digest

RobertThe Tenants' Union Housing News Digest compiles our pick of items from all the latest tenancy and housing media. It is sent every Thursday at 10am. 

Below is the Digest archive from November 2020 onwards. From time to time you will find additional items in the archive that did not make it into the twice weekly Digest email. Earlier archives are here, where you can also find additional digests by other organisations. 

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See notes about the Digest and a list of other contributors here. Many thanks to those contributors for sharing links with us.

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What’s affordable housing? Depends who you ask. Crossbench MPs want a legal definition

Rachel Clun
The Sydney Morning Herald (Paywall)

Defining what makes housing affordable will be key to legislating the government’s $10 billion housing fund after Greens and crossbench senators made their support for the bill contingent on a list of demands.

The government needs the Greens and two other crossbench senators to pass the legislation after the Coalition announced it would oppose the bill. On Tuesday, the Greens and Jacqui Lambie Network senator Tammy Tyrrell refused to rule out blocking the bill unless their demands were met.


# Hot topic, Legal significance Australia, Affordable housing, Federal Government, Housing affordability.

Rent caps on the table as Queensland confronts housing crisis

Nick Gibbs
The New Daily (No paywall)

Limits on rent increases could be on the agenda for Queensland as a new report shows the extent of the housing crisis.

Of 150,000 households under housing stress, about 100,000 would typically be eligible for social housing, a report commissioned by the Queensland Council of Social Service (QCOSS) says.

This figure is almost four times the social housing wait list of about 27,000.


# Must read, Hot topic, New policy announcement Australia, Rent, Housing affordability, Housing market.

Insight: Season 2023 Episode 4 Housing Stress

SBS (No paywall)

Is keeping a roof over our heads killing Aussie dreams, and can we fix it?


# Hot topic, Video Australia, Affordable housing, Housing affordability, Housing market.

Australia’s high court to rule on compensation claims for poor housing in remote community

Sarah Collard
The Guardian (No paywall)

Australia’s highest court is deciding whether to award compensation to public housing tenants for disappointment and distress over dilapidated and poor housing, in a case their lawyers say could have ramifications for tenants around the country.

Residents in the remote community of Ltyentye Apurte or Santa Teresa, 85km south-east of Alice Springs, lead by claimants Enid Young and the now deceased Mr Conway, have been engaged in a series of long-running legal battles with the Northern Territory government over the poor housing, with the supreme court and court of appeal finding in their favour.


# Must read, Hot topic, Legal significance Australia, Aboriginal-renters, Rent, Regional NSW.

The housing and homelessness crisis in NSW explained in 9 charts

Paul Miller
The Conversation (No paywall)

Whatever the result of the New South Wales election on March 25, rising housing stress is a problem the new state government will have to confront.

Soaring rents and an extraordinary lack of rental vacancies are intensifying housing stress in Sydney and elsewhere. Many low-income households are spending well over 30% of their income on housing costs.

The numbers of people seeking help are pushing social housing and homelessness systems to the brink.


# Must read, Hot topic, Research alert Australia, Rent, Homelessness, Housing market.

‘It’s Up to Us’: squeezed by the housing crisis, a NSW rural community finds its own solution

Jordyn Beazley
The Guardian (No paywall)

After raising $350,000, a group of Bega electorate residents provided temporary units for locals – but long-term investment is needed to provide more permanent accommodation.

About two years ago Michael Brosnan decided he could no longer wait for the government to act on the housing crisis.

As more and more people were squeezed into homelessness in his community on the far south coast of New South Wales, he and other locals decided to start a fundraiser.


# Hot topic Australia, Co-operatives and resident-led housing, Housing market, Personal stories.

Affordable housing series part 1: tensions and political legitimacy

Mike Brown
The Fifth Estate (No paywall)

The Australian government has rightly defined the housing affordability crisis as a national issue. What features of the crisis, if any, warrant national policy attention? Well, its existence for a start…

Alison Pennington’s Friday essay (an extract from her recent book Gen F’d?: How Young Australians Can Reclaim Their Uncertain Futures In The Conversation reviews the by-now well-known financial conditions that benefit older generations but confront young intending home owners and renters, whom she refers to as “Generation F-d”.


# Hot topic Australia, Rent, Housing affordability, Housing market.

Landlord limits 'not needed' in Queensland as sky-high rents force people from their homes

Owen Jacques
ABC (No paywall)

Housing advocates in Queensland are calling for a cap on rental increases as growing numbers of tenants are forced out of homes in a market with almost no restrictions on price hikes.

The state government and real estate lobby do not agree that restrictions are needed, warning such a change would have little impact and would risk scaring owners and investors out of the market.


# Hot topic Australia, Rent, Housing market, Personal stories.

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