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MEDIA RELEASE: Greens call for urgent action to get rents under control

The rental crisis will not get better without a freeze on rents and an end to unfair, no grounds evictions. Data released today in the Annual Rental Affordability Index shows that rental affordability is worse than ever before, and people are struggling to make ends meet between the soaring cost of rent, food and electricity.  Greens spokesperson for Housing and Renters, and Member for Newtown, Jenny Leong MP said: “Politicians cannot continue to sit on their hands and ignore the renters in their community who are being forced to make the difficult choice between rent they can’t afford or eviction.  “The rental crisis isn’t going to get better until we freeze rents and get them under control, end unfair no grounds evictions, and stop the special treatment of landlords and investors profiting from the housing crisis.  “Renting in Sydney is now considered “critically unaffordable” and it’s snowballing into regional communities, as more and more people are driven out of the city and into the regions.  “No one should have to choose between paying their rent, putting food on the table, paying their bills on time, or getting Christmas presents for their families.  “Just weeks ago, the Greens pushed to end no grounds evictions and give renters security by Christmas but it was shamefully blocked by the Liberal Government and NSW Labor.  “Leaving renters to struggle with astronomically high rents and minimal protections is a political choice, and it’s time for politicians to work together to genuinely fix the rental crisis ,” Ms Leong said.

MEDIA RELEASE: Nothing snug about intrusive third party rental services exploiting renters

The Greens are calling on the NSW Government to take immediate action on the pervasive use of third party rental services.  Greens MP and Housing Spokesperson Jenny Leong said: “Renters need urgent protections from third party services who are preying on and profiting off the housing crisis.  “Reports today that third party rental services could be actively facilitating rent bidding, and contributing to the soaring cost of rent, are deeply disturbing. “And we know from the countless stories from renters in our community that these third party services regularly try to sell additional, and unnecessary, services like background checks to profit off renters desperation. “Alarm bells should be ringing that these third party services have an immense amount of power, and an immense amount of personal information.  “Too often renters are given no choice but to hand over huge amounts of personal information, dating back years, to these services just to be considered for a rental property. “Renting in NSW is stressful enough, without the added - and very legitimate – fears around personal information that recent high profile data breaches have exposed. “The NSW Government needs to step in and take immediate action to review, regulate and provide much needed oversight to the pervasive use of third party rental services. “We need to ban rent bidding, stop intrusive rental applications, and massively strengthen renters' data protections.”

MEDIA RELEASE: Greens condemn official approval of Waterloo public housing demolition

Today’s rezoning approval officially rubber stamps the destruction of the Waterloo South public housing estate and will force hundreds of Waterloo residents out of their home.  Member for Newtown and Greens Housing Spokesperson Jenny Leong said:“Today’s approval rubber stamps the unacceptable destruction of public housing in Waterloo and will force hundreds of people out of their home and the community they’ve lived in for years.   “Like many public housing estates, Waterloo has been neglected by successive governments who have underfunded maintenance and let our public housing deteriorate to justify the widescale sell off of public land.“The Waterloo community has resisted this redevelopment since it was shamefully first announced just before Christmas in 2016.  “Since then the housing crisis has only gotten worse and the chronic lack of public and affordable housing in Sydney and throughout NSW has intensified.  “This could have been a once-in-a-generation opportunity to address the housing and inequality crisis and genuinely invest in a massive increase of public housing in the inner city  “Disgracefully this rezoning will see a huge amount of public land sold off and turned over to the private housing market for private profit, for a measly increase in the number of social housing units.  “Right now there are more than 100,000 people on the public housing waiting list, some of whom have been waiting for over a decade. This rezoning will do nothing to meet their immediate need for safe and secure housing.  “This destruction isn't inevitable. NSW Labor must commit to stopping the demolition and co-designing a renewal strategy with the community that keeps people in their homes and ensures the site remains 100% public housing - not a plaything for private developers.“The Greens stand in solidarity with all Waterloo residents now facing forced relocations. We will always defend public housing and everyone’s right to a safe, secure and affordable home.,” Ms Leong said.

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