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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What is the right level of social housing for Australia?

AHURI (No paywall)

In the 40 years between 1981 and 2021 the percentage of all Australian households living in social housing (i.e. state owned and managed public housing or community managed housing) has ranged from 4.9 per cent in 1981 to 3.8 per cent in 2021 (from 2021 ABS Census). Such a drop in the proportion of social housing raises the question of has Australia achieved the balance right, and also just what is the right level of social housing for Australia?


# Australia, Public-and-community-housing, Housing market.

‘Worse than we thought’: Labor says urgent reform needed to fix aged care crisis

Sarah Martin
The Guardian (No paywall)

Aged care in Australia needs “urgent reform as quickly as possible” alongside an overhaul of the funding model to ensure the sector remains financially viable, the new minister for aged care, Anika Wells, says. Describing the current situation for the sector as a “crisis”, Wells said the federal government was already supporting a number of providers to remain open given the current pressures on the system, where the majority of providers are operating at a loss. “It is worse than we thought. Every rock I turn over, it is worse than we thought and I think that is the experience across the board,” Wells told Guardian Australia.


# Australia, Federal Government, Housing market, Older people.

Kalorama residents unable to rebuild after land deemed uninhabitable

Virginia Trioli
ABC (No paywall)

Kalorama resident Natalie Guest lost her family home more than a year ago when storms tore through Melbourne's Dandenong Ranges. She's spent the past 13 months cleaning her land and meeting consultants as she planned to rebuild. But in a devastating blow, Yarra Ranges Council has declared her block is too dangerous to live on due to landslip concerns. (BC Radio Melbourne)


# Audio Australia, Disasters - storm, fire, flood etc, Local Government, Minimum habitability standards.

'Chernobyl' green lawn in real estate ad for Adelaide house sparks questions about truth in advertising

Eugene Boisvert
ABC (No paywall)

An advertisement for an Adelaide house with an unnaturally green lawn has amused many online, but has also sparked questions about how much enhancement is too much when it comes to real estate sales.


# Australia, Landlords and agents.

'Perfect storm': new housing data reveals regional areas in strife

Neve Brissenden
Illawarra Mercury (Paywall)

Everybody’s Home, a housing solution campaign group, found in regional Victorian areas, rents had increased between six and 14 per cent, while vacancies dipped below one per cent. ... spokesperson Kate Colvin said as mortgage interest rates doubled many landlords would seek to pass the cost on to tenants. “Renters are in for a seriously difficult time as landlords capitalise on historically low vacancy rates to shift the rising cost of interest rates on to their tenants,” she said. “While the Victorian state government has invested in social housing, we will only start to see significant change once we see a significant promise from the federal government as well.”


# Australia, Public-and-community-housing, Rent, Federal Government, Housing market.

Timeline: the 20 housing ministers since 1997

IH Reporters
Inside Housing (Paywall)

From the United Kingdom ... The transience of housing ministers continues. As Stuart Andrew resigns after just 148 days in the role, Inside Housing looks back at all 20 housing ministers since 1997.


# International, Federal Government.

Tenant News

Tenants' Union of NSW (No paywall)

Lots of news about the Census, a new national housing agenda, climate change, NSW Budget, pets, older renters and homelessness ... Last week's Census data showed that the number of renting households in NSW has increased by almost 18% since 2016. Over two million people now rent in the NSW private rental market. The proportion of renters has also increased – we now make up nearly a third of all households in NSW. Unfortunately, while our overall numbers have increased, Census data also confirmed that the number of households in public or community housing in NSW continues to drop – the number fell by more than 1,500. This is not because of reduced need. The waiting list is many years long – we just don’t have the homes required. Meanwhile, one million homes were unoccupied on census night (ABC). Census data also demostrated that housing stress is growing. The number of households in NSW paying more than 30% of income on rent has increased by over 21,000 to 335,404 in 2021 - though that may not be the best way to measure housing stress! Despite our growing numbers, those of us who rent our homes are still often left out of the conversation about how to fix our housing system. Governments need to listen to renters – about our experiences renting and our concerns. But also about what is needed to fix the problems. ...


# Must read NSW, Public-and-community-housing, Rent, Campaigns and law reform, Climate change, Families, Federal Government, Homelessness, Housing market, Older people, Pets, State Government.

Census 2021: Renters are the fastest growing tenure in Australia.

Jemima Mowbray, Leo Patterson Ross, Jack Moon and Zuzia Buszewicz
Tenants' Union of NSW (No paywall)

Last week the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) released its first round of data from last year's Census (2021). This is the key population data collected on Census night, though some really interesting data on mobility and tenure will be released with other 'additional location variables and employment data' due out in October - we'll also then get the ability to dive in more fully to the data. We'll be looking at the 2021 Census data and sharing the insights as they are made available. In this blog, we get started with a few headline results about renting in NSW.


# NSW, Rent, Utilities-electricity-water-gas, Families, Housing affordability, Housing market, No-grounds evictions.

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