TU Annual Report, social housing special edition of Tenant News, plus articles on the private rental market, land tax, fixed terms, waste, and more.
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2013-2014 Annual Report

The Tenants' Union Annual Report is hot off the press, download it here.
Some of our highlights for the year:
  • 25% increase in advice, information and referral provided.
  • 13 public interest matters run.
  • 596,000 factsheets downloaded.
  • 53,334 visits to the online Tenants’ Rights Manual.
  • 350 people trained in tenancy, parks and boarding houses law.
  • 3,000 posters about tenants’ rights produced and distributed.
  • TAAS funding continued to 2016.
  • Boarding houses education project initiated by the TU.
  • Roomshare sector research, and survey on affordable housing undertaken and published.
  • TU publications revamped.

Tenant News on Social Housing

The most recent Tenant News is a Social Housing special, download it here. This is the third Tenants News this year, following special editions on Boarding Houses and Students and Sharehousing. 3,000 copies have been printed, and we'll be mailing them to tenants and services across NSW this week. If you'd like a paper copy (or many) to give to fellow tenants or clients, please get in touch.
Articles include:
  • Millers Point: A Long History
  • We live here:
    Community Millers Point
  • Housing NSW Tenants:
    Lifters not Leaners
  • Social Housing in NSW:
    What's Not up for Discussion
  • Bradbury Estate: Community Spirit in Public Housing
  • A numbers game: Commonwealth Rent Assistance and Aboriginal Housing
  • Tenancy legal Q&A
  • Poetry: "Houso Kid"
Download Tenant News #108.
Also, in light of the NSW Government discussion paper on social housing last month, the TU Policy team has written a couple of pieces on the private rental market. We've felt a need to, because the issues in the private sector apparently are not part of the discussion, even though there is an assumption that the private market will pick up the shortfall created by making social housing harder to get into and keep.

Save Our Sirius

Two pieces on the TU's Brown Couch blog explore the importance of the Sirius apartments at Millers Point to Sydney's heritage.
Firstly, in Getting Serious about Sirus, TU Executive Officer Julie Foreman reports on a forum about Sirius held at Parliament House and offers some personal reflections.

Secondly, Sydney's Concrete Poetry is the full presentation made at the forum by Mary Sutton, Millers' Point resident.

TAASs celebrate 20 years

The network of Tenants Advice and Advocacy Services has been going for 20 years! In that time more than half a million tenants have gotten phone advice and other assistance.

NSW Fair Trading Minister Matthew Mason-Cox kindly sent a warm note of congratulations on the anniversary:

"NSW Fair Trading is proud of its association with the Tenancy Advice and Advocacy Service and the work it is doing to empower tenants. To provide a continuous community service for 20 years is a significant milestone and I congratulate the services and their staff for their continued dedication to ensuring all tenants are able to exercise their rights." Read more or see photos.

Land tax, fixed terms and waste

On the TU's Brown Couch blog, Senior Policy Officer Dr Chris Martin discusses the merits of a broad-based land tax, the effect of land tax on housing and how the 'No Land Tax' campaign gets things wrong.

In an other piece, Chris makes an argument that long fixed terms are not the solution to the the insecurity of renting, seeing them as an attempt at a legal fix that doesn't really fit with the structure of our rental market.

Chris also examines the real waste of unemployment and the relationship between underemployment and housing insecurity.

Renters at Home Research

Are you a tenant?

Or do you work in housing/tenancy management, policy or advocacy?

Griffith University wants to hear from you. They're doing research into how 'at home' or not renters feel and why that may be. They're looking for your stories and experiences to inform the research. Click here to share your experience anonymously.

Xmas wishes and tenants hotline

Finally, we would like to wish all of you a very happy end-of-year and a peaceful and prosperous 2015.

It's our friends and supporters who make our work possible, and we know that you have played a big part in our successes this year. Thank you!
Over the end-of-year period, the Tenants' Union advice line will be open to help any tenants needing assistance with tenancy and occupancy rights.

Call 1800 251 101 or 8117 3750

The advice line will operate from Monday 22 December 2014 to Friday 2 January 2015. Outside of those dates, your local Tenants Advice and Advocacy Service can be found at tenants.org.au.
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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 tenant advocates, tenant activists and community workers.

For tenancy advice, 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.

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

Copyright © 2014 Tenants' Union of NSW, All rights reserved.

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