Housing News Digest

RobertThe Tenants' Union Housing News Digest compiles our pick of items from all the latest tenancy and housing media. It is sent every Thursday at 10am. 

Below is the Digest archive from November 2020 onwards. From time to time you will find additional items in the archive that did not make it into the twice weekly Digest email. Earlier archives are here, where you can also find additional digests by other organisations. 

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See notes about the Digest and a list of other contributors here. Many thanks to those contributors for sharing links with us.

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Desperate for housing, Sanin is living in a tent with her children. She's angry at 'empty promises'

Finn McHugh
SBS (No paywall)

Sanin and her five children are among those struggling to secure a property to rent amid Australia's housing crisis. As Labor's affordable homes plan hits headwinds, she fears the situation her and others are facing "isn't going to get better".

The federal government frames its plan to build 30,000 social and affordable homes as significant. The Coalition opposes it. Some crossbenchers argue it will barely make a dent.


# Must read, Hot topic NSW, Affordable housing, Personal stories, State Government.

VIDEO: Public housing tenants speak out against evictions for redevelopment

Emily Baker
ABC (No paywall)

With rents soaring and rental properties scarce across the country, it's no surprise that the most vulnerable tenants are feeling the pinch. According to one study, the number of rental properties affordable to people on low incomes has fallen dramatically over the past two decades.

Now residents of the nation's biggest public housing estate at Waterloo in the heart of Sydney are preparing to move as the sale of the site to private developers looms closer. Emily Baker reports.


# Hot topic, Video NSW, Public-and-community-housing, State Government, Strong communities.

Animal shelters and pounds report increase in surrendered animals across NSW due to rental squeeze

Laurise Dickson and Keely Johnson
ABC (No paywall)

For the past two years, Newcastle woman Cynthia has been relentlessly applying for rental properties across New South Wales.

Unable to secure a home, Cynthia and her staffy-cross Storm have been staying at a friend's place.

"It's practically impossible to get housing when you have a dog," she said.


# Hot topic NSW, Rent, Personal stories, Pets.

Labor inherits dismal housing supply outlook for Sydney and state

Michael Koziol
The Sydney Morning Herald (Paywall)

The new Labor government will inherit a shrinking pipeline of new housing across Greater Sydney, with dwelling approvals running more than 15 per cent below the five-year average, threatening to exacerbate the housing and rental affordability crisis gripping the city.

The latest available figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics show dwelling approvals in 2022-23 are tracking even lower than the previous financial year - 20,559 at the end of January compared to 22,239 in 2021-22. House and apartment approvals were both down.


# Must read, Hot topic NSW, Affordable housing, Housing affordability, State Government.

'Successful' homelessness service Together Home facing uncertain future after NSW election

Heath Parkes-Hupton
ABC (No paywall)

The uncertain future of a program credited with helping 1,000 homeless people into secure housing in NSW shows the "tepid" response major parties have to state's housing crisis, advocates say.

Together Home was created by the NSW government in 2020 to help rough-sleepers after they were deemed as being at high-risk during the COVID-19 pandemic.


# Must read, Hot topic NSW, Homelessness, Housing affordability, State Government.

There’s no future for conservatives if young people have nothing to conserve

Gray Connolly
The Sydney Morning Herald (Paywall)

The Duke of Wellington once summarised his genius as a soldier and Tory British prime minister with simplicity: “All the business of war, indeed all the business of life, is to endeavour to find out what you don’t know from what you do: that is what is called ‘guessing what’s on the other side of the hill’.”

No guessing, though, was required on Saturday. We know that the Coalition lost, which was hardly surprising after 12 years and, realistically, so many scandals.


# Hot topic NSW, Housing affordability, Housing market, State Government.

Seniors feel 'trapped' as retirement village fees go 'through the roof'

Brady Halls
A Current Affair (No paywall)

One day we all must decide where and how we will live in our old age - community living, public housing or assisted living at the family home.

For residents at one facility on the Central Coast of New South Wales, they claim they've made a grave mistake on where to spend their retirement years.

Bob Morris is a resident at the Nautical Village at Kincumber.


# Hot topic NSW, Land-lease-communities, Housing affordability, Older people.

NSW lawyers weigh in on ending no-grounds evictions

Grace Ormsby
RPM (No paywall)

Voicing their thoughts ahead of last week’s NSW election, the state’s law society has stated that protections for vulnerable tenants must go one step further.

Prior to the election win by Chris Minns and the Labor Party, the Law Society of NSW welcomed the commitments by parties to end “no-grounds” evictions from residential properties.

Cassandra Banks, the Law Society of NSW president, said there are good reasons to review the existing right of a landlord to end a lease at any time for no reason with 90 days’ notice and 30 days’ notice, to prevent evictions on unreasonable grounds, particularly in relation to groups that are vulnerable to discrimination.


# Hot topic NSW, Rent, Housing market, No-grounds evictions.

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