The Guardian • Issue #2065

Rental reform call to Senate inquiry

  • The Guardian
  • Issue #2065

Photo: Ivan Samkov – (CC0).

A coalition of more than 80 organisations across Australia has urged governments to act swiftly on rental reform in a joint submission to the Senate’s rental crisis inquiry.

The broad range of organisations specialising in services including housing, health, domestic violence and law have signed a statement.

Fair limits on rent increases, ending no-cause evictions, and improving energy efficiency in homes are among the advocates’ listed priority areas of rental reform.

The group is also calling on federal, state and territory governments to aim for at least 10 per cent of all dwellings to be social housing.

According to National Association of Renters’ Organisation (NARO) Convenor Penny Carr, “There has never been a better opportunity for the country to work together to bring greater stability, safety and security to the millions of renting households nationwide.

“Today more than 80 services nationwide are jointly advocating to establish minimum standards for renting laws across the country. This will lead to better health, education, and employment outcomes for renters as well as benefits to our whole community.”

Tenants’ Union of NSW CEO Leo Patterson Ross said, “Renting in Australia should mean a good home from which we can live full, rich lives. Just as it did 50 years ago, the Commonwealth can support a national conversation across jurisdictions about what we expect from our renting system as well as bringing all the other tools it has to support good homes.

“The community sector joining together on this statement shows the level of support that exists for meaningful reform across every state and territory, and for the Commonwealth to be part of the conversation, to bring every rented home into the 21st century.”

National Shelter CEO Emma Greenhalgh said “Renting will be a lifelong tenure for many Australians, and we need to ensure that the homes they live in are affordable, secure, and healthy.”

In the words of Everybody’s Home spokesperson Maiy Azize, “Living in cars, tents and on couches, sleeping on an empty stomach, fretting about paying this week’s rent, and uprooting to another community – the horrors of the rental crisis are here to stay if governments don’t act with urgency and ambition.

“Piecemeal measures aren’t going to cut it for the growing number of Australians who are at the mercy of an unaffordable and unreliable private rental market. Just as the Federal Government leads in other essential areas such as health and education, it must step up and provide safe and secure homes.”

Everybody’s Home

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