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 Monday and 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. 

Our e-magazine, Tenant News is sent once every two months.

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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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Housing for the Aged Action Group
(No paywall)

In putting together this meeting and Annual Report, we've realised just how much we've still been able to achieve, putting Housing for the Aged Action Group on a great trajectory to keep improving the housing and lives of older people around the country.


# Australia, Campaigns and law reform, Older people.

How the Pandemic Worsened a Housing Crisis in the Bronx

Jose A. Alvarado Jr.
The New York Times (Paywall)

In a New York City borough where residents have long struggled to afford their homes, thousands are now threatened with eviction as state pandemic aid dwindles. Livia Fernandez used to commute every day from her one-bedroom apartment in the Bronx to an Ecuadorean restaurant in Queens, where she worked as a cook and earned $700 a week. But when the pandemic hit New York City last year, the restaurant shut down, and she lost her job. Ms. Fernandez got Covid-19 in March 2020, and ever since she has felt weak and unable to work. Her two young daughters were also infected. For 20 months, Ms. Fernandez has not paid her $1,400 rent — she owes more than $28,000. Her landlord has yet to demand payment, instead hoping that Ms. Fernandez would qualify for a state pandemic relief program. But with the rent relief program now nearly out of money, Ms. Fernandez knows her housing situation is precarious. “Where will I go with two daughters?” Ms. Fernandez said. “I can’t live in the streets.”The pandemic has left millions of people across the country jobless and on the brink of losing their homes. But few places better illustrate the escalating housing crisis than the Bronx, where working-class residents have long struggled to afford the city’s rising cost of living. Before the pandemic, more than one-third of households in the Bronx spent at least half their income on rent.


# International, Rent, Coronavirus COVID-19, Housing market, Personal stories.

‘You’re throwing money away’ and other renting myths – busted

Lauren Vardy
(No paywall)

As more Australians choose to rent each year, a growing number of people have questions about what’s involved in the renting process. Here are nine myths we regularly hear from renters and the truths behind them. (rent.com.au)


# Australia, Rent.

Introductory Remarks to Parliamentary Inquiry hearing: Housing affordability and Supply in Australia, 17 November 2021

Bill Randolph and Hal Pawson
City Futures (No paywall)

... Adequate housing supply is a key component of a healthy housing market. But we would argue that the causes of housing unaffordability are complex and call for consideration of both housing supply and housing demand and the underlying drivers on both sides of the market. Boosting home ownership is a key objective that we fully support. But, as argued in our recent report, ‘Housing – Taming the Elephant in the Economy’, Australia’s home ownership system has transformed from its historic function of spreading wealth into a modern day system that concentrates wealth and drives growing inequality. Over-preferencing existing home owners and investors has increasingly excluded young adults from access. ... The Australian Government could play an important role in supporting such diversity. Not only by reforming key tax settings, but also through influencing urban development. [You will find a link to the submission by City Futures in the third paragraph of this article.]


# Must read Australia, Rent, Home ownership, Housing affordability, Housing market, Tax.

Tenant News

Tenants' Union of NSW (No paywall)

'Renting Matters!' podcasts, Moratorium ends, transition period begins, 'No grounds evictions', The real housing crisis, The emergency in the regions, 'Build Back Better' ... and lots more news


# NSW, Aboriginal-renters, Public-and-community-housing, Rent, Starting-a-tenancy, Strata, Campaigns and law reform, Climate change, Coronavirus COVID-19, Estate renewal, Housing market, Regional NSW.

What’s needed to help older tenants age in public housing?

Debbie Faulkner, Julia Verdouw, Peta Cook, Selina Tually, Edgar Liu, Bruce Judd, Helen Barrie and Veronica Coram
AHURI (No paywall)

The proportion of public housing tenants aged 55 or older across Australia has risen from 20 per cent in 2006 to 37 per cent in 2016, resulting in the need for changes to public housing policy and practice, new AHURI has revealed. Read more, with a link to the full publication, at: [https://www.ahuri.edu.au/research/final-reports/369]


# Research alert Australia, Public-and-community-housing, Older people.

November 2021 News

Shelter NSW
(No paywall)

Check out the latest housing news from Shelter NSW ...
Sydney. What kind of city do we want?
Regional Housing Taskforce recommendations released
Shelter NSW AGM 2021
Shelter NSW CEO speaks to NSW Parliamentary Committee about social and affordable housing – and ‘meanwhile use’
Sydney Alliance Local Organising for Council Elections
One of NSW’s largest councils one big step closer to an affordable housing contribution scheme
'Housing and Homelessness: The Local Landscape' - City of Newcastle invites you to a forum
Houses are not bananas - the regional housing crisis
Shelter NSW CEO, John Engeler, elected Chair of National Shelter
Housing policy should address climate change, not exacerbate it
Sydney Social Housing - 'Two Point Perspective' Podcast
Hands Off Glebe Community 'Picket'
Sydney Olympic Park 2050 – Have Your Say


# NSW, Campaigns and law reform.

Accessibility reforms: “If you’ve got builders having to do one thing in NSW and another thing in Queensland it’s going to drive them nuts”

Duncan Murray
The Fifth Estate (No paywall)

It’s been more than 10 years since Australian government ministers agreed to pursue making homes more accessible for elderly and disabled people through provisions in the national building codes. In April of this year, measures including wider door frames and corridors, stepless entryways and showers, and reinforced bathroom walls finally found their way into the updated 2022 National Construction Code (NCC). However, with individual states and territories having the option to opt out of the changes the country is split, largely along political lines, as to who will step in to avoid them becoming state law.


# Australia, Disability, Housing market, Minimum habitability standards, Older people.

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