Tenants Queensland has asked all political parties to commit to funding for independent tenant advice services. They say the increasing and on-going demand speaks for itself. Read their press release here.
They also say that the Residential Tenancies Authority has given the state government $35M in grants from tenant bond monies over the last two years. See the statistics at the bottom of the press release.
Save Tenant Services wishes everyone a happy, healthy and successful 2014. And once again we would like to thank you for all your support throughout last year.
You, STS supporters, are awesome!
If you missed us today at the West End markets, you can find us tomorrow at the Manly creative markets. Come and say hello. Oh, and please send this link to all your family and friends to help Save Tenant Services in Queensland http://bit.ly/ZmZE52
Come and say hi to Save Tenant Services supporters on Saturday at the West End green markets and on Sunday at the Manly creative markets. Help keep independent services for tenants by sending a letter to your local MP.
This weekend Save Tenant Services campaigners will be out and about at local markets to help spread the word about the issues facing tenants in Qld concerned with the loss of services.
We will be asking market goers to sign letters to the Qld Premier, Campbell Newman, to pass on a small amount of tenants’ bond interest to fund a tenant advice service for Qld tenants and the Federal Attorney-General, George Brandis to keep tenants advice services alive until the Qld Govt returns the funding.
For the next two weekends we’ll be at Rocklea Sunday Markets – head over to say g’day. After that we’ll be at Mt Gravatt, Manly and West End (Davies Park) Markets.
We’re still inviting supporters to help us with the markets, visit your local MP, distribute information to friends and neighbours etc. If you’d like to help with the campaign, please let us know on the volunteer form.
The Federal Government acknowledged the importance of the tenant advice and advocacy services that have existed in Qld for over 20 years and provided emergency money after the Qld Government diverted away the small percentage of tenants’ own bond interest that had provided the funding for these services.
With no long term solution available from the Newman Government as yet we must ask that the Federal Government extends its funding until the Qld Government is prepared to give its commitment to independent tenant advice and advocacy services.
Please send an email request to the Federal Attorney General.
Send a message to the Premier (and Treasurer and Housing Minister) by simply inserting your name and email address here. (It takes less than 30 seconds!)
Reprinted from Tenants’ Union of Tasmania’s e-newsletter Rent Rant Spring edition 2013
Tenancy Bill Gets Through Upper House
Tasmania will be the first state or territory to have legislated minimum standards for residential tenancies, following the successful passage of the Residential Tenancy Amendment Bill (Tasmania) through the Upper House last Thursday.
The proposed minimum standards listed below went through unscathed but not without much discussion and some dissent. The standards require all tenanted properties to be:
- Weatherproof and structurally sound
- Clean and in good repair • Equipped with bathroom and toilet
- Serviced with a kitchen sink, hotplates and an oven (which can be a microwave)
- Supplied with electricity and one fixed form of heating
- Provided with curtains (except properties owned by Housing Tasmania)
- Adequately ventilated
We’re working on the next stage of our campaign to have funding returned to tenant advice services in Queensland.
Are you able to help us get our message out – what’s going on and how people can help us? We’re looking for volunteers who can give us a few hours of their time on a weekend or two in the coming months.
Wherever you are in Queensland, if you’re interested we’ll see if we can include you. To find out more you can email us at [email protected]
The Queensland government today introduced the Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation and Other Legislation Amendment Bill which will, amongst other things, provide new options to evict social housing tenants. It also introduces limits on the Tribunal when considering whether to evict a social housing, so that they do not refuse to terminate the tenancy just because the tenant is a social housing tenant.
If passed, it will also reduce the notice time required to end a social housing tenancy agreement when the tenant is no longer eligible for housing. The time is reduced from two months to one month. We will seek more information and post it when we get it.
Tenants’ Union of Queensland Media release September 3, 2013
The rebranded Tenant Advice Network Queensland (TANQ) today announced that independent tenant advice services are alive and well in the state.
Free tenancy advice continues to be available locally across the state, although services have now been sub-contracted by the Tenants’ Union of Queensland (TUQ) rather than the State government.
‘Whilst funding is still only secured until the end of December, all tenant advice locations have been retained despite a long thirteen month fight for the survival of our services,’ said TUQ spokesperson, Ms Penny Carr.
Tenants can access free advice services at the locations attached. The TUQ’s statewide advice service is available on 1300 744263
The commitment of workers and committees of management has been astounding according to the TUQ. Continue reading
Today the Greens release their better deal for renters policy. We thought we’d post the extract below because of it’s relevance to our situation. The full policy is available at this link. By the way, we’re happy to publish rental market policies released by any political party. However, this is the only one we’ve seen so far.
A STRONGER VOICE FOR TENANTS
The Greens Rental Health Survey found there is strong need and support for tenant’s advocacy services, with 53% of respondents have needed to contact a tenant’s advocacy service for issues with their rental property in the past.
85% think renters need better representation in Australia and 92% support a nationally consistent model of consumer protection for renters that includes legal advice, dispute resolution and advocacy.
The Greens will provide an additional $3 million per year to existing tenants advocacy services to help them provide a stronger voice for tenants and a new national model of ‘consumer protection’ for renters.
This would mean better funding for legal advice, dispute resolution, and advocacy for tenants. This is a crucial part of a national approach to preventing homelessness. The Greens’ package would also provide more funding for specialist Indigenous tenants advice services or Indigenous advocates.
Landlords enjoy considerable power over the tenant particularly in Australia’s tight rental market, and are able to offer rental housing to prospective tenants on a take-it-or-leave-it basis. The Greens don’t want to take away any protections for landlords, but want to set a level playing field that is fair to both parties and nationally consistent and enforceable.
The Greens propose a model that is based on the same body that administers similar programs such as the Universal Design standard for housing policy, which supports the implementation of liveable housing designs for those with disabilities. The body would research, consult and set the standards, and oversee their implementation.
Media Release June 27 Minister for Housing and Public Works The Hon Tim Mander
New crisis accommodation and an overhaul of the intake system are among the initiatives of a Newman Government commitment to halving homelessness in Queensland by 2020.
Housing Minister Tim Mander said in addition to delivering ‘bricks and mortar’ initiatives, the plan would reform service delivery to address the root causes of homelessness and give vulnerable Queenslanders the necessary skills to ensure they don’t slip backwards.
“On any given night, at least 20,000 Queenslanders are homeless including more than 1500 ‘sleeping rough’ mostly in regional parts of the State,” Mr Mander said.
“In a great state like Queensland, that’s completely unacceptable.”
Mr Mander said new supported accommodation facilities would be targeted at key locations and would include a 40 bed facility in Townsville, a 20 bed facility in Redcliffe and a 40 bed facility in Cairns as part of the first stage.
“Additional dwellings will also be provided to expand the Street to Home program so it can continue its outreach model of linked accommodation and support and be able to respond quickly to the need for short-term accommodation.
“We’ll also develop and complete 10 joint ventures to deliver new housing and support initiatives, with the government contributing the land and the non-government sector providing the capital and support services.”
Mr Mander said while the ‘bricks and mortar’ projects were important, they were only part of the solution.
“As well as building more accommodation, we also have to change the way we do business to make sure we’re building resilience, not just reliance.” Continue reading