Illawarra Greens. Social justice, environmental sustainability, peace and non-violence and grassroots democracy.

Greens launch Wollongong renters rights campaign

Greens MP Jenny Leong will be in Wollongong this Friday to launch the Greens campaign for renters rights.

“In the past few years, home ownership has dropped from around 69% to 50%, because housing has become so out of reach for people on ordinary wages,” said Greens MP and housing spokesperson Jenny Leong.

 “We are seeing a big shift in the way we live, and many people are becoming long term or even life-long renters.

 “Our rental laws are seriously out of date, and don’t allow people to put down roots in their communities in the same way that renters can in other countries.

The Residential Tenancies Act is under review, and will be updated in the NSW Parliament early next year.   The Department of Fair Trading conducted a review of the Act earlier this year, but failed to recommend any of the changes that tenants need if they are to have long term, secure housing.  Tenants can be evicted for no reason, with just 60 days notice.  30% of the time renters move house is because they are forced out, not because they choose to move.  For older people, and families with school children, being forced to move can cause extreme disruption and difficulty.

The Greens will seek to amend the Residential Tenancies Act to:

• End “no grounds” evictions

• Limit rent increases to CPI

• Limit the number of rent increases to no more than one per year

Wollongong is in the grip of a housing affordability crisis.  Despite a youth unemployment rate or 16.4%, there are virtually no properties affordable for anyone living on Centrelink payments, according to a 2016 Anglicare report.  

Jenny Leong MP will be in lower Crown St Mall this Friday with Wollongong candidate Cath Blakey to hear first hand from tenants their experiences of renting.  In the afternoon she will meet with tenant advocates and housing sector workers to hear their views on the proposed changes to tenancy laws.

Further information – Mithra Cox 0425351844