Vote home, negative gearing and housing fairness. Plus 'urban renewal', swimming pool rules, funding justice, tenants' history and more.
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Vote home!

This federal election, let's end the housing crisis

Australia is in the midst of a housing crisis. Many people are paying so much for housing that they're forced into financial hardship. So it's no wonder that housing is well and truly on the agenda this election. Almost every day, articles appear in the media on negative gearing and how people are locked out of home ownership. There's an extreme shortage of affordable rentals and over 105,000 Australians don't have a place to call home at all.

Renters were invisible in the federal budget

If you’re part of the growing mass of Australians for whom renting is the only viable, long-term housing option, chances are you slept through the recent federal budget. In fact, you’d be forgiven for asking yourself the same question on budget night for about the last ten years – am I really that invisible? TU Senior Policy Officer Ned Cutcher looks at renters and the budget in a cracking piece in the Sydney Morning Herald's Domain.

Battlefield: Negative gearing

To make sense of the furor surrounding negative gearing and capaital gains tax, we've put together a six-page tenants' guide to tax reform which outlines how these taxes affect the private rental market. Meanwhile, a number of large and powerful real estate agencies look set to recommend landlords increase your rent if Australia votes for changes to negative gearing and capital gains tax. We critique their assumptions on our blog in Battlefield: rent. Also, in awkward news for the Coalition Government, it's been revealed that the Reserve Bank of Australia once suggested curbing negative gearing could be good for financial stability. But the RBA also wondered whether curbing negative gearing might lead to an increase in rents. We put forward a different perspective in Curb negative gearing, increase rents – or not.

Vote home campaign

So, this election, it's time to do something about the housing crisis. Vote Home is a campaign developed by a national alliance of peak housing, homelessness and welfare organisations. They have proposed five key reforms to deliver more affordable housing and end homelessness. Take action and sign their petition!

Shelter NSW federal election forum

Shelter NSW has organised a federal election forum on Tuesday 7th June (9:15am to 3:45pm) in Surry Hills. This forum will look at the housing context for the election, hear from representatives of the parties, and include workshops with successful campaigners on how we can advocate during the election campaign and after. The Vote Home campaign will also be discussed. Richard Dennis from the Australia Institute will give the keynote address. More info and registration

Shelter has also developed eight factsheets on housing affordability, for use in lobbying.

My house, my home

40 moments in the history of the Tenants' Union

As part of our 40th anniversary celebrations, we've been sharing highlights from the history of the tenants' movement in NSW. Check out the stories and share them on social media!

Forum & party for the TU's 40th

You're invited – Monday 15th August

We'd like to invite you to the gala event celebrating our 40th anniversary. It will be held on Monday 15 August 2016 at Redfern Town Hall. There will be a forum from 12 noon to 4.30pm, including lunch, then we'll turn on a party from 5-7pm.

Minister Responsible for Fair Trading, Victor Dominello, will open the event and the keynote speaker will be Professor Keith Jacobs from the University of Tasmania. There will also be skits, stories and the full film documentary of the TU's history.

We hope to see you there! Please RSVP by emailing so we can stay in touch and keep track of numbers.

More news from the TU blog

Tenancy-related updates and analysis

21st Century Bonds – Fair Trading's Rental Bonds Online

In December 2015, NSW Fair Trading introduced Rental Bonds Online, an alternative system for the payment of rental bonds. The system allows tenants to send their deposit to the rental bond board directly using Fair Trading's website. Read more

Income management for social housing tenants?

The idea of a Compulsory Rent Deduction Scheme for social housing tenants has resurfaced in the 2016 Federal Budget. Read more

The hidden costs of ‘urban renewal’

Redevelopment or sales of public housing estates result in hidden health and social costs for people living through these changes, writes TU Executive Officer Julie Foreman in the South Sydney Herald. Similarly, former Ivanhoe Estate resident Marie Sillars writes on our blog about the strength of community, the shock of relocation & the Ivanhoe Estate Tenant Group. Also, check out our analysis of 'spot sales' and redevelopments in northern Sydney.

New rules for swimming pools

Last month some potentially significant changes to the rules around renting a house with a swimming pool came into effect. Read more

Fund equal justice

National funding campaign for Community Legal Centres

There is significant and rising demand for legal assistance in Australia, but hundreds of thousands of people are missing out on the legal help they need. In 2014-2015, over 160,000 of Australia’s most disadvantaged and vulnerable people had to be turned away by Community Legal Centres, largely due to a lack of resources. Community Legal Centres provide unique and essential free legal help to the most vulnerable and disadvantaged members of the community. Find out more and get campaign updates
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Legal information in this email is intended as a guide to the law and should not be used as a substitute for legal advice. It applies to people who live in or are affected by, the law as it applies in New South Wales, Australia.

Tenants' Union of NSW, Suite 201, 55 Holt St, Surry Hills, 2010, NSW. (02) 8117 3700

Copyright © 2016 Tenants' Union of NSW, All rights reserved.

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