Housing Assembly  |  Elections  |  Public housing transfers and renewal
View this email in your browser

Housing Assembly – 14th March

Take action for secure housing and clean energy

Nine days before the NSW Election over 2,000 people will gather in Sydney Town Hall to demand rental security and clean, affordable energy. We want you to join us!
Register now
The Housing Assembly – jointly hosted by Sydney Alliance, Vinnies NSW and Everybody's Home – will bring together everyone campaigning on housing and clean energy. The goal is to seek clear, concrete commitments from NSW and Federal politicians on affordable housing, household energy and rental reform.

We know that Sydney’s housing is among the most expensive in the world. And renters face the added insecurity of unfair evictions. It's time for politicians to commit to fixing this crisis – if they want our vote.

This will be the largest event for affordable housing and clean energy that Sydney has ever seen.

The Tenants' Union will be going to the Assembly together with Tenant Advocates and tenants. We will raise the voice of renters in the room – join us! The Assembly will start at 6:30pm and finish at 8:30pm on 14th March in Sydney Town Hall. We'll be meeting beforehand to eat together and organise to arrive as a group.

Please fill in our quick rego form – you might even score a Make Renting Fair t-shirt!
Register now

Housing issues in the NSW & Federal elections

We're keeping a close eye on housing issues in the lead-up to the upcoming elections – housing is very much on the agenda. Tenants' Union Senior Policy Officer Leo Patterson Ross spoke to Radio Skid Row about some of the emerging issues. See more below and stay tuned to this newsletter and our blog!

Do politicians vote with their property interests?

Over the holiday period, there was some media attention on the fact that many of the NSW Government members who opposed reforms to unfair evictions also own investment properties themselves. We think it clear that the debate inside the Government was unduly influenced by people who should have excused themselves from it. Would NSW now already have made renting fair if they had? The Government should now do the right thing by NSW renters, their families and the community and revisit ending unfair 'no grounds' evictions.

In this article, we look at how the landlord and non-landlord NSW MPs voted on ending unfair evictions. Read more

Shelter NSW Election Platform 2019

Shelter NSW recently released their Election Platform 2019 – a call for the parties to commit to fixing housing in NSW. The platform focuses on four priorities:
• Building enough low-cost rental housing
• Making housing fair for all
• Giving renters secure homes
• Making sure low-income households aren't excluded in the redevelopment of Sydney and regional centres

Building Great Communities

The Tenants' Union is proud to be part of the Building Great Communities coalition. Getting housing right is crucial for whoever forms the next government in NSW – housing is a fundamental for creating communities. Building Great Communities is calling on the next NSW Government to ensure:

Big numbers & good intentions: Labor's Affordable Housing Plan

One of the big announcements from the ALP at their Federal conference late last year, was a plan to build a lot of 'affordable' housing. It has been met with near-rapturous support from community housing providers and their supporters. Others, like the Australian Council of Social Services, have been more circumspect. And some on twitter have raised some concerns. In this post, we dig in to the policy in more detail. Read more

Public housing transfers and renewal

‘Growth’ of community housing may be an illusion. The cost-shifting isn’t.

Michael Darcy is Community Housing Project Officer at the Tenants' Union – a role he took up last year after after a long career as an urban studies academic at Western Sydney University. In this Conversation article published a couple of weeks ago, Michael raises questions about the narrative of community housing 'growth', as well as concerns about accountability, and tenant choice and voice.
Southern Cross Housing, a non-profit community housing provider, took over management of just under 1,000 public housing dwellings on the NSW South Coast last October. This transfer from the NSW Department of Family and Community Services nearly doubled Southern Cross’s portfolio. More than 3,000 transfers have since been made to community housing providers on the NSW North Coast and in northern Sydney.

These are the first of over 14,000 tenancies being contracted out to community housing providers over coming months. The 'whole-of-location' transfer program will result in the department closing housing offices in four regions. Non-government organisations will manage all government housing assistance programs in these regions.

This is not an entirely new development. Nationally, community providers were responsible for about 20% of 400,000 social housing dwellings in 2016. Most are managed under contract for state authorities, which retain ownership of the properties.
The current transfers represent a major acceleration in the growth of community housing providers’ share of the social housing sector. It will bring NSW to within a few points of the 35% target agreed by the Housing Ministers’ Council in 2009. This will be achieved in the next few years with transfers resulting from large estate redevelopment projects.

It is the first time a state government housing agency has effectively contracted out the entirety of its operations, albeit in particular regions. Rents collected will fund the management of all housing programs in these areas."

Read the rest of Michael's article here
Are you a public housing tenant being transferred to community housing? Get more information and tell your story here.

Dislocation / relocation – from Millers Point to Waterloo

Redfern Legal Centre's most recent email newsletter looks in depth at the impact of public housing redevelopment and relocation. It highlights community resistance and the work of their Inner Sydney Tenants' Advice & Advocacy Service.

Feature articles include:

Principles for tenant-focussed renewal

New on the Tenants' Union youtube channel – public housing tenant Jen Rignold speaking about tenant-focussed renewal in social housing. She speaks about the need to build respectful relationships, to listen and be heard, and to form vibrant communities.
“If you’re working with people, talk to them! Throw out your conventional meetings, and just sit down with a cuppa and bikkies.”
Thanks for reading. Don't forget to register for the Housing Assembly on 14th March!
Register now
Tenants' Union Facebook
Tenants' Union Facebook
Tenants' Union Twitter
Tenants' Union Twitter
Tenants NSW website
Tenants NSW website
You're receiving this email because you are on the Tenants' Union e-bulletin list. We send out regular updates about our work and news of interest to tenants, tenant advocates, tenant activists and community workers.

For tenancy advice, please contact your local Tenants Advice and Advocacy Service. See tenants.org.au

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.

Copyright © 2019 Tenants' Union of NSW, All rights reserved.
Suite 201, 55 Holt St, Surry Hills, 2010, NSW. (02) 8117 3700

Forward this email to a friend
Update your subscription preferences
Unsubscribe from all Tenants' Union emails