Vale Ross Smith - tireless advocate and TU member

Ross Smith
Ross Smith
It is with great sadness that we note the passing of Ross Smith – a tireless advocate for fairness in the housing system, and member of the Tenants’ Union of NSW. Ross was always willing to say what many others would not regarding social housing policy - or as he would say 'public and community housing' policy. He strongly disliked the term social housing.
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Growing community in a tenant-run garden

Todd and Bent Street tenants
Tenants from Todd & Bent Street
The public housing tenants at Todd and Bent Street have been working hard to create a vibrant community and a luscious community garden. Thanks to their love and care, a permaculture garden now thrives in an area which used to be neglected. We spoke to some of the residents and asked them about the garden and their experiences as tenants.
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Renters in parliament

Jenny Leong MP, Shayne Mallard MLC, Julie Foreman TU Executive Officer, and Tania Mihailuk MP, cutting the cake at the launch of the TU 40th celebrations
Jenny Leong MP, Shayne Mallard MLC, Julie Foreman TU Executive Officer, and Tania Mihailuk MP
At the launch of the Tenants' Union 40th anniversary celebrations at the Northcott estate in Surry Hills in February 2016, we asked the three Members of Parliament who attended about their experience renting in Sydney. The MPs were Jenny Leong (Member for Newtown), Shayne Mallard (Member of the NSW Legislative Council) and Tania Mihailuk (Member for Bankstown). See what they had to say in this 3 minute video and article.

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Home and health

Carol
Carol Carter is an Aboriginal woman living in public housing in Bankstown in Sydney. In September 2014, Carol received a letter from the Department of Housing in relation to relocating her to another house because of redevelopment happening at the place she currently lives. Carol has lived at her current home for over 14 years. Carol has been receiving help from Greater Sydney Aboriginal Tenants Service (GSATS).
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A flood, repairs, and an attempted eviction

Geoff Mansfield
Geoff Mansfield, Central Coast tenant
My family and I had been living in our place for three years. It wasn’t a a bad property – there’s a nice view over Budgewoi Lake (although the lake can get a bit smelly!). Then there was a flash flood and our yard was flooded. We were without power for eight days and there was damage to the house too. The water rose up a fair way and the back fence came down. This meant that the back of our property was open to the lake.
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The importance of a secure home

Carol and Vivian
Carol and Vivian, social housing tenants
Firstly, to introduce us, I am Carol (on the left in the picture) and my sister is Vivian (on the right). We are social housing residents living in Riverwood and have lived here since 1984. Originally we were in a third-floor unit on – a word I dislike – a housing estate. Because Vivian had a health problem we were given a transfer a short distance away to a small villa. Our introduction to the Tenants’ Union of NSW was while I was doing a Diploma of Community Work/Welfare at TAFE around 2007.
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Fighting evictions in residential parks

Jill Edmonds
Jill Edmonds, park resident
In 1990 I bought a manufactured home in a residential park (now called a ‘residential community’). I knew there was an element of risk in using my meagre retirement funds to become the owner of an ‘affordable’ house located on land owned by someone else. I did not know it was possible that park owners who had approval for redevelopment were permitted to evict pensioner residents and take ownership of their homes with no legal requirements for compensation. I thought such things could only happen in third-world countries!
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My home is like my castle

Lewin George
Lewin George, Marrickville tenant
Home means security for me – this is where I feel safe. My home is like my castle, even though it's one room at the back of my landlord's house. I also like to go out, but I value my privacy when I’m at home. The landlord's dogs are good, they keep watch.
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A strong voice for tenants

Charmaine Jones, with TU staff, Patrycja, Jemima, Anne and Julie
Charmaine Jones, with TU staff
Charmaine Jones, social housing tenant and Tenants' Union Treasurer, reflects on her involvement with the TU and the changes in the sphere of social housing.
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A place of my own

Annette Murphy
Annette Murphy, Doonside tenant
I am originally from Walgett, Northern NSW. In Walgett everyone knows me as ‘Daughter’. I would like to move back to Walgett, but my children and grandchildren are in Sydney, so I will probably stay here.

I have lived in Sydney since I was about 19 years old. I have been living in my current home in Doonside for about 4 years. I rent through the Aboriginal Housing Office (AHO)
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