NEWS

Home is everything to me

Taressa Mongta, Surry Hills tenant
Taressa Mongta, Surry Hills tenant
I grew up on the Northern foreshores of Botany Bay at the La Perouse Aboriginal Reserve AKA ‘Lappa Mish’ in the 1970s and 1980’s.

It was great growing up there. The sea was our backyard – 6 beaches, National Park Lands. We had plenty of space and freedom. Everyone (mainly us girls and a couple a boys) had a horse. In the words of Mr Greg Blaxland “there were that many horses, in the end they were tying them up with string!”
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Hunter TAAS Residential Communities Project

Residential park wlk
New Legislation for residential parks will impact many residents
Hunter Tenant’s Advice & Advocacy Service, along with a number of other tenancy services received a one off grant from NSW Fair Trading to employ a part time project worker to assist with the implementation of the new Residential Land Lease Communities Act 2013. Hunter has a significant number of residential communities in its area and that number is set to increase. Large communities are currently being built in Newcastle and Cessnock and Maitland and Port Stephens councils have approved, or are considering development applications for even more residential communities.
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ISTAAS speaks up for public housing tenants in parliamentary inquiry

Kimberley Mackenzie (RLC Tenants' Advocate), Jacqui Swinburne (RLC Tenancy Coordinator) & Ned Cutcher (TU)
Kimberley Mackenzie (RLC Tenants' Advocate), Jacqui Swinburne (RLC Tenancy Coordinator) & Ned Cutcher (Tenants' Union)
Redfern Legal Centre has spent many years advocating for public housing tenants waiting for basic repairs to be done on their homes. The lack of action they experience, even after correct procedure is followed, can be detrimental to people’s health and wellbeing.
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Five key changes to social housing laws

In October 2015, NSW Parliament passed the highly contentious Residential Tenancies and Housing Legislation Amendment (Public Housing - Antisocial Behaviour) Act - affecting the rights and obligations of all social housing tenants in NSW, and restricting the capacity of the Tribunal to consider the evidence before it. Strictly speaking, these changes have applied since enactment. But FACS Housing will begin actively using the new rules against public housing tenants from today, having published a new operational policy to guide its decision making in this regard. Community housing providers are expected to do the same in the near future. 
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2016 Budget to deliver income management for Social Housing tenants?

A few weeks ago we noted the NSW Government's continued interest in a Compulsory Rent Deduction Scheme for social housing tenants, as they took the idea to the recent Council of Australian Governments meeting.

Such a scheme would make it compulsory for tenants in social housing to have their rent taken from a social security payment and paid directly to the landlord. As we have noted many times before, such a scheme already exists, but it works on a voluntary basis. Direct rent deductions work for some people some of the time, but they won't work for all people all of the time. Making the use of such a scheme compulsory will produce awkward results.
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Tenants’ guide to tax reform

Housing affordability is a key issue during the 2016 federal election. The presumed impact of reducing tax concessions for landlords has been a strong feature in media discussions, and in commentary from political parties and candidates. Most of these focus on the cost of housing to buy.

But how do negative gearing and capital gains tax discounts affect the private rental market?
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The rent (assistance) is too damn low

The rent in Sydney is so high now that even historic pockets of affordability are way out of reach for people doing it tough. We might have been able to rely on public or social housing if supply had kept pace with the growing population, but it didn't.
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Happy anniversary, Residential Tenancies Act - part 4

Six years ago today the Residential Tenancies Act 2010 became part of the law of New South Wales.

Part of the deal was that it must be reviewed after five years, to see whether its policy objectives remain valid, and its terms remain appropriate.

This statutory review of the Act commenced in late October 2015, with NSW Fair Trading inviting interested parties to contribute via a public discussion paper. They received in excess of 200 submissions - many of them from tenants. We produced our own submission, and have discussed it quite a bit on the Brown Couch as well.
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