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 Monday and 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. 

Our e-magazine, Tenant News is sent once every two months.

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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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Outasite Lite

Tenants' Union of NSW (No paywall)

The anticipation is over. The Appeal Panel of the Tribunal has handed down the decision in Kincumber Nautical Village Pty Ltd v Morris & Ors and it is not good news for home owners. ... And lots more news


# NSW, Land-lease-communities, Campaigns and law reform.

NSW makes its biggest investment in tackling domestic violence

Alexandra Smith
The Sydney Morning Herald (Paywall)

The NSW government will make its single largest investment in tackling domestic violence, spending almost $500 million on extra refuges for women and children fleeing their homes. The spending will form a significant part of the state government’s COVID-19 economic recovery package and will add 75 women’s refuges, taking the number in NSW to 161. More than $464 million will be spent over four years on a model focused on self-contained accommodation to support women and children escaping domestic and family violence. The accommodation is located next to services including counselling, legal assistance, education, and employment support. The sites also contain meeting rooms, audio-visual equipment for court appearances, communal kitchens, and playgrounds.


# New policy announcement NSW, Domestic-violence, Coronavirus COVID-19, Housing market.

Pandemic spurs women's housing insecurity

Gina Rushton
(No paywall)

Thousands of women in NSW live in unsafe housing and face homelessness as rent remains unaffordable and the economic impact of the pandemic continues, local governments, charities and social services groups say. A coalition of groups including the NSW Council of Social Service, Local Government NSW, Mission Australia and the Older Women's Network have released a report highlighting the urgent need to support women's economic security and safety by investing in social housing. (7 News) Check out the NSW Council of Social Service's media release with a link to the report at: [https://www.ncoss.org.au/policy-advocacy/policy-research-publications/rebuilding-womens-economic-security-investing-in-social-housing-in-nsw/]


# Research alert NSW, Rent, Homelessness, Housing affordability, Older people, Women.

5 steps to take if you’re struggling with rent

Georgia Lenton-Williams (National Debt Helpline)
(No paywall)

A recent report by the Tenants’ Union of NSW and Youth Action found that rental housing affordability was a big concern among renters under 30, with 84% of respondents selecting the cost of rental properties as the issue that mattered most to them. (Tilly Money)


# TUNSW in the media Australia, Rent, Housing market, Young people.

Sweeping housing legislation could reshape New Zealand cities for decades to come

Eva Corlett
The Guardian (No paywall)

New Zealand’s cities could be reshaped for decades to come, after the government joined forces with the opposition to announce sweeping bipartisan housing legislation that aims to counter urban sprawl and boost supply by up to 105,000 new homes in the next eight years. In a rare display of cross-party collaboration, the housing minister Megan Woods and environment minister David Parker took the podium with the National Party’s leader Judith Collins and its housing spokesperson Nicola Willis on Tuesday, to introduce a bill that will cut urban-planning red-tape and enable up to three houses, three storeys tall, to be built on most sites without requiring consent in the country’s major cities. ... Housing and environment advocacy groups like City for People – which Stewart helped establish – Generation Zero and Renters United have long pushed for densification. “This new cross-partisan reform is to be celebrated. It is a vital step to tackling our housing crisis by ensuring people’s right to a quality home is paramount. The real character of our cities are people and thriving communities,” the groups said. But they would like to see other levers pulled: “generous rental subsidies, accessible housing, support for papakāinga [Māori housing] developments, and investments in sustainable water, open space and transport infrastructure.”


# International, Housing market, Planning and development.

How ‘managed retreat’ from climate change could revitalize rural America: Revisiting the Homestead Act

Hillary A Brown and Daniel R Brooks
The Conversation (No paywall)

Southern Italy’s rural Calabria region announced an innovative project in 2021 to breathe new life into its small towns. It plans to offer young professionals thousands of dollars if they move in and commit to launch a business, preferably a business the community needs. Northwest Arkansas has a similar program to draw new residents to rural towns like Springdale by offering US$10,000 and a mountain bike. Lincoln, Kansas, is offering free land to remote workers who are willing to relocate and build a home there. These efforts take advantage of the growing work-from-home culture to try to revitalize rural communities that are in decline.


# International, Climate change, Housing market.

I lived in a share house with my mum when I was a kid. I got a 'sister' out of it

Yasmin Jeffery and Sabine Paglialonga
ABC (No paywall)

In 2002, my mum Shirley and I were renting a too-big, rundown house in pre-gentrified Preston we could barely afford. So when she told me her friend, Saskia, Saskia's six-year-old daughter Sabine and their dog would be moving in with us for a bit because they were struggling too, I was relieved even though I felt like we barely knew them. (ABC Everyday)


# Australia, Rent, Share-houses, Women.

Twofold crisis: regional Australia housing shortage compounding poor mental health

Natasha May and Gabrielle Chan
The Guardian (No paywall)

The housing crisis and mental health crisis are converging in regional Australia as rental vacancy rates in some regions fall below 1% with city people on the move, rentals converting to Airbnbs or owners cashing in on high property prices. Regional towns have experienced a significant reduction in available properties and rental affordability, particularly since the onset of the pandemic. ... [Ellen Jones, a solicitor in the NSW town of Orange said] “If something doesn’t change, we are going to see single mums sleeping under bridges. I’ve seen people with children and, even more so if they have pets, who cannot get rental accommodation.”


# Australia, Rent, Coronavirus COVID-19, Health, Homelessness, Housing market, Pets, Regional NSW.

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