David and Goliath: One tenant’s 14-year battle for repairs

David Bott
Public housing tenant David Bott
David Bott’s long-running battle in the Tribunal shone a light on a serious issue which public housing tenants know all too well: the systematic failure of FACS to do necessary repairs. After 14 years, FACS made the necessary repairs, but only after getting dangerously close to being found in contempt of the Tribunal. Thanks to David’s tenacity, his case has also paved the way for significant changes to the way FACS will deal with repairs issues.
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Tenancy rights for residents of group homes: consultation forums

Tenants' Union of NSW
The NSW Department of Family and Community Services, Ageing, Disability & Home Care is transferring the management of group homes to the non-government sector. As a result of this change, residents of transferred group homes will get a new landlord. Shelter NSW and the Tenants' Union of NSW are collaborating to deliver a number of targeted face-to-face forums in February 2018. It’s important that we hear from those within our community who will be directly affected by the transfer of supported group accommodation.
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Older people at risk of homelessness

Older woman sitting on a couch - report cover
'The older I get the scarier it becomes' is a new report into the risk of homelessness for older people in NSW. The report was released on 29th November 2017, during the 2017 National Housing Conference, by the Ageing on the Edge Homelessness Prevention Project. Robert Mowbray, Tenants' Union Project Officer for Older Tenants, represents the TU on the NSW Reference Group for this project.
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Make Renting Fair gains momentum

Make Renting Fair campaigners and supporters in Redfern
Redfern tenants and community show their support for Make Renting Fair
In NSW current tenancy legislation allows landlords in the private market to end a tenancy without having to give a reason. This means renters are often scared to enforce their rights because they know they can get kicked out for things like asking for repairs or challenging an excessive rent increase. Make Renting Fair is a community campaign calling for law reform to end these unfair evictions. Support for the Make Renting Fair campaign continues to grow.
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#WeLiveHere community action

Brian with his dog Ruby in their apartment
Waterloo renter Brian, with his dog Ruby
#WeLiveHere2017 was a community action led by local residents of Redfern Waterloo. Coloured lights lit up the two social housing tower blocks in Waterloo – Matavai and Turanga – that have dominated the southern skyline of Sydney since 1976. In 2015 the NSW State Government announced the redevelopment of the Waterloo Estate, including six large tower blocks and several low rise dwellings. Some 3,600 residents – many of them elderly or people with a disability – will be relocated in the process. The Tenants' Union spoke to two residents who participated in the #WeLiveHere action, Felix and Brian, to get their perspectives.
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Make Renting Fair – community support growing

Make Renting Fair
Make Renting Fair is a new community campaign to end unfair evictions. Bringing together a strong coalition of local community organisations, unions, and faith based organisations, the Tenants Union of NSW and Tenants Advice and Advocacy Services are calling on the NSW State Government to make renting fair, and ensure renters in New South Wales are protected against unfair evictions.
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Unfairly evicted for challenging electricity misuse & excessive rent

Jeremy and Mari
Jeremy and Mari, Inner West renters
“We stood up to the landlord. That’s the real reason we were evicted.” Jeremy tells how he received a 'no-grounds' eviction after he challenged the landlord over excessive rent and a requirement to pay for electricity used in a communal area.
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Make Renting Green by Making Renting Fair

Make Renting Fair
Not being able to access energy efficient homes is just one way in which our unfair renting laws harm tenants. If tenants knew that they would be able to stay in their homes long term, they would be more likely to take steps to improve energy efficiency. This is one reason why the Tenants’ Union, together with 80 other organisations, has launched a new campaign to address unfair evictions.
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Escaping an unsafe and insecure rental nightmare

Kellie and her son Elijah
Kellie & her son Elijah, Central Coast tenants
Kellie and her son Elijah are tenants on the Central Coast. At their previous place the landlord failed to abide by the agreement and renting laws in a number of ways. So Kellie got advice from Central Coast Tenants Advice and wrote to the landlord to assert her rights. She also went to the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT) to seek compensation for the landlord’s failure to do repairs and an illegal lockout. Although she was unsuccessful at the Tribunal, Kellie did manage to get rehoused in a better place.
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Home ownership is falling - what needs to happen?

Leo from the Tenants' Union of NSW speak on ABC News 24
Tenants' Union Advocacy and Research Officer Leo Patterson Ross
Our Advocacy and Research Officer Leo spoke to ABC News 24 about a new report which shows that Australia has one of the lowest rates of home ownership amongst 9 countries analysed by HSBC.
We point out that what people really want are homes they can rely on - watch now!
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