Two things I've found out since commencing the Boarding Houses Project; a workshop for your organisation; older women's houses vulnerability; and Western Sydney Homeless Connect.
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Two things I've found out since commencing this project...

  1. The majority of boarding house residents are not aware of
    their rights.
  2. Most residents say that they would go to a neighbourhood centre or community centre should they need assistance with accommodation issues.
To help residents who may come to you for advice, I would like to offer a workshop to your organisation for:
  • Staff: from 30 mins to 2 hours, at a time of your convenience; or
  • Residents: perhaps you have residents who use your service and who could attend a talk to find out more about their rights; or
  • Interagency meeting: Possibly you attend interagency meetings where several agencies together could get information on boarding house rights for residents.
If any of these three options are right for your organisation, please email me or call me (8117 3719), and I'll organise a workshop with you. In the meantime, you could read our Tenants Rights Factsheet 27 on the Boarding Houses Act.

Older women's housing vulnerability

Think of a traditional boarding house resident and men come to mind, but let us not forget the housing needs of women. For a variety of reasons, a greater number of women are facing the possibility of boarding house accommodation as their working lives come to an end. A recent report from ACT Shelter shows that women do not like that option.
Women have not used boarding houses in the same way as men and, as a result, there is not a large network of established boarding houses which cater for women’s needs. The report tells us that women are not interested in living in a traditional boarding house where their family commitments could not be met and their fear of violence could make a boarding house an unsafe option for them. For more, see ACT Shelter Home Truths: Older Women’s Housing Vulnerability in the ACT (p20-21).

In addition, a recent paper, The state of rooming house reform in Victoria, gives a description of the disadvantages women face trying to locate appropriate accommodation for themselves and their children (p19). Escaping domestic violence is often the reason women leave home but, after moving into what they believe is single gender rooming house accommodation (boarding houses), they may find that rooms are also rented to men. Although there is no information on New South Wales, the report has useful information that no doubt parallels circumstances here.

Western Sydney Homeless Connect

I will be attending the Western Sydney Homeless Connect at Parramatta Town Hall on Monday 27 October. If you are there, please introduce yourselves; chat to me about boarding house issues in your local area and pick up other resources I will have on the day.
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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

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