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FIXING A BROKEN SYSTEM -NSW LABOR’S FAIRER RENTING ROUNDTABLE

Written by Aksel Ritenis

FIXING A BROKEN SYSTEM-NSW LABOR’S FAIRER RENTING ROUNDTABLE
 

NSW Labor will hold its Fairer Renting Roundtable on Thursday, 12 January 2023 to discuss making renting fairer and easing cost of living pressures, as well as to learn about new ways to address the housing and rental crisis.

NSW Labor Leader Chris Minns, NSW Shadow Minister for Better Regulation & Innovation Courtney Houssos and NSW Shadow Minister for Housing & Homelessness Rose Jackson will meet with and hear from advocacy organisations, renters and industry.

Organisations participating in the roundtable include the NSW Tenants Union, Real Estate Institute of NSW, Tenancy Advocacy Services, Community Legal Centres, and community organisations.

Two million people in New South Wales rent – around one third of the state.

Median rents in Sydney are now $560 a week a 7.7 per cent increase over the past year.

And in regional New South Wales, it’s $480 a week, up 6.7 per cent in the last year.

Rents in Sydney are the highest of any state capital, and in the last quarter rents in Sydney increased more than any other capital except Melbourne.

Over 35 per cent of tenanted households in NSW are in rental stress over this period.

Data just out this week showed a dramatic drop in unit building approvals – down 18.2 per cent over November 2022 – the worst of any state or territory.

NSW Labor’s roundtable is the latest initiative in a series of policy announcements to make renting fairer, firming on its commitment to focus on cost of living this election:

  • Creating a NSW Rental Commissioner to advocate for renters;
  • Protecting tenants from unfair evictions by creating reasonable grounds for ending a lease;
  • Banning the practice of secret rent-bidding;
  • Implementing a Portable Bond Scheme;
  • Making it easier for renters to have pets in their homes;
  • Boosting rental supply in the regions;
  • Charging the Greater Cities Commission to review and rebalance population and housing growth by setting new housing targets matched to infrastructure, especially around Metro lines; and
  • Introducing a mandatory requirement for 30 per cent of all homes built on surplus government land to be set aside for social, affordable and universal housing.

Quotes attributable to Chris Minns, NSW Labor Leader:

“An essential part of making renting fairer in this state is engaging constructively with experts and representatives across the sector.

“The NSW Liberals have allowed the state’s rent crisis to worsen and tenants are at breaking point. No one believes they actually turn things around three months out from an election after 12 years in government.

“NSW Labor brings a comprehensive policy agenda to make renting fairer in this state, including ending secret rent bidding and no-grounds evictions; introducing a portable bonds scheme; and boosting rental supply in the regions, among many other measures.”

Quotes attributable to Courtney Houssos, NSW Shadow Minister for Better Regulation & Innovation:

“For 12 years, this Government has sidelined and ignored renters.

“We understand renters are under increasing pressure and have a clear plan to give them immediate relief. If we are elected, NSW Labor will establish a Rental Commissioner, end secret rent bidding, stop evictions unless they are on reasonable grounds and implement a portable bonds scheme.

“Today is an opportunity for us to hear directly from industry representatives and advocates about the latest challenges facing renters and to discuss the immediate priorities for our Rental Commissioner if we are elected in 72 days.”

Quotes attributable to Rose Jackson, NSW Shadow Minister for Housing & Homelessness:

“The rental crisis in NSW is out of control. We’re seeing massive increase in rents, queues around the corner for inspections because vacancy rates are so low and properties without proper kitchens or bathrooms offered for hundreds of dollars a week.

“As a direct result of the failures in our rental market, people are forgoing food and other essentials just to pay the rent, or are being forced into homelessness because they simple cannot find an affordable place to live.

“The situation has become so bad because the NSW Government has ignored renters and the rental market for 12 years – this is what a decade of neglect looks like.

“NSW Labor does not want to see older women couch surfing or working people living in tents because they can’t find an affordable rental, we want to work with experts, stakeholders and those with lived experience of the rental crisis to develop meaningful and common sense solutions to this crisis so we can start taking steps to fix the broken system.”

 

 

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About the author

Aksel Ritenis

Publisher and Custodian of the Sydney Times

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