Tenants' organisations concerned about forced rent payments proposal

The Senate’s Community Affairs Legislation Committee is holding an inquiry into the Social Services Legislation Amendment (Housing Affordability) Bill 2017.

The National Association of Tenants Organisations (NATO) is an affiliation of Tenants Queensland, Tenants Union of NSW, Tenants Union of ACT, Tenants Union of Tasmania, Tenants Union of Victoria and the Darwin Community Legal Service.

NATO has concerns about some aspects of the Bill and is circulating this DRAFT summary to assist other interested parties, including social housing tenants, to make submissions by the due date of November 10. Submissions can be uploaded here https://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Committees/OnlineSubmission

According to one of the committee members, Senator Murray Watt, “In summary, this Bill extends the existing, voluntary, Rent Deduction Scheme so that it can be applied more broadly by States and Territories, as well as community housing providers to withhold a portion of tenants’ income support and/or Family Tax Benefit payments and use these funds to directly pay rent and utilities costs on behalf of those tenants”.

The Bill can be found here: https://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Bills_Legislation/Bills_Search_Results/Result?bId=r 5974

Read the concerns here