The latest Census reveals that 30% of households in New England are renting, and 11% are paying more than a third of their income on rent. While housing in New England might be cheaper than in Sydney, wages are much lower, which means that many people are living in housing stress.
Greens MP and Housing spokesperson Jenny Leong says that renters have been forgotten in the housing affordability debate, and that reform of our rental laws is desperately needed.
The Greens will propose amendments to the Residential Tenancies Act to give renters more security when the Act is reviewed by Parliament later this year.
“Many people who rent live in fear of being thrown out of their home, even when they pay rent on time and look after the property. These laws are unfair and out of date,” Ms Leong said.
“The review of NSW rental laws that is currently underway offers an opportunity to give renters more security and stability. Ending no grounds evictions is an immediate step that can be taken to help renters throughout this state.
“Seventeen thousand people in the New England region are renting – but while you are renting you do not have the same kind of housing security as people who own their home. When you are renting, you can be evicted for no reason, with just 90 days notice, and rents can be increased.
“For families with kids in the local school, or for older people, having to move and uproot yourself from your community is extremely stressful.
“With the NSW Labor opposition joining The Greens and the community to protect the 30% of people in NSW who rent by ending unfair ‘no-grounds’ evictions, it’s time for local Nationals MPs like Kevin Anderson to act,” Ms Leong said.
In the 2016 Census, 29% of households in the federal electorate of New England had a mortgage, 37% owned their home outright and 30% were renting.
A review of the NSW Residential Tenancies Act 2010 is underway, with proposed reforms from the Government expected soon. Through the review process, The Greens have proposed a number of reforms to provide increased stability, security and choice for renters, and to improve standards for rental properties.
In February 2017, a study co-authored by CHOICE, the National Association of Tenants' Organisations and National Shelter, titled Unsettled: Life in Australia's private rental market<https://www.choice.com.au/money/property/renting/articles/choice-rental-market-report>, found that 83% of renters in Australia have no fixed-term lease or are on a lease less than 12 months long, and 62% feel they're not in a position to ask for longer term rental security.
The Greens have launched rentersrights.org.au <http://www.rentersrights.org.au/no_grounds_evictions>, a campaign hub and online resource for renters.