The Greens are calling on the NSW Labor Government to go further than their announced extension of temporary accommodation from 2 days to 7 days, and remove the cap entirely, to keep people safe and work towards ending homelessness.
Jenny Leong, Member for Newtown and Greens Spokesperson for Housing and Homelessness said:
“The Greens are calling for the limit on temporary accommodation to be scrapped, it would be near impossible for anyone to find long-term, secure housing in just 7 days - let alone people experiencing crisis.
“Extending the limit on temporary accommodation by just 5 days when the public housing waiting list in some areas is 10+ years, there is a dire shortage of transitional housing options, and affordable rentals in the private housing market are non-existent, is not enough.
“Any limit on temporary accommodation fails to put vulnerable people’s needs first - it is not a stable solution and means too many people will be forced back into unsafe situations.
“The limits on temporary accommodation need to be scrapped entirely, alongside a massive investment in specialist support services, so we can move to a Housing First approach in NSW that will end homelessness and keep people safe.
“Temporary accommodation should only end when someone is at the point of securing safe, affordable, ongoing housing.”
Abigail Boyd, Greens Spokesperson for Gendered Violence and Abuse said:
“We are in the middle of a housing and cost of living crisis. It’s almost impossible to find permanent accommodation, be approved and move somewhere within a week. It’s not just an unrealistic expectation, it's a dangerous one.
“Limiting crisis accommodation is one of the largest obstacles to escaping violence. The 7-day period is still 3 weeks short of the period that experts in the DFV sector have been calling for as their minimum ask, for years now.
“This government is still asking victim-survivors, at a time when we know they are at the most risk of harm, to scramble to secure accommodation within a week.
"We had expected this new Labor government to make tackling the domestic violence crisis in our state a far higher priority. They know the stories, they know the evidence, it's time they act on it.”
The Greens welcome indications that the NSW Labor Government will consider action on excessive rent increases, but a consultation paper won’t pay the rent. Renters need a freeze on rent increases while this longer-term reform is implemented.
Commenting on the NSW Labor Government’s rental reform consultation paper released today, Jenny Leong Member for Newtown and Greens NSW Spokesperson for Renters’ Rights and Housing said:
“The Greens welcome that the NSW Labor Government is coming to the table with reforms to make renting more affordable and secure - reforms that the Greens have been pushing on for years.
“The Greens and renters are ready to fight the powerful real estate and developer lobby that will no doubt be ready to stop reforms from undermining their profits.
“Ending unfair, no grounds evictions and allowing pets in rentals are long-overdue reforms that would give renters desperately needed security.
“But we need to ensure that no-grounds evictions are ended for all renters on all leases - including renters at the end of a fixed term lease.
“Any action on excessive rent increases need to include longer-term rent controls to ensure we are bringing down the record-high rent costs and actually making renting affordable.
“Dealing with rent increases isn’t a data or information sharing exercise - renters know when their rent increase is excessive, what they need is clear limits on what a rent increase can be.
“The Greens want to make unlimited rent increases illegal, establish rent caps, and put hard limits on the amount and frequency of rent increases.
“But a consultation paper won’t pay the rent and renters are in crisis right now. We need to freeze rent increases for as long as these reforms take to be considered.
“The Greens Emergency Rent Freeze Bill is before NSW Parliament right now - we could have this in place within the month if the NSW Labor Government backed it in.
“Across the country the Greens are standing with renters and pushing state and federal governments to go further and faster on rental reform.
“With rent caps now being seriously considered in NSW, a rent freeze not ruled out in Victoria yesterday, and renter’s rights pushed onto the national cabinet agenda - it’s clear a rent freeze is possible. ”
Commenting on the Anti-Discrimination Amendment (Religious Vilification) Bill introduced today by the NSW Labor Government, Jenny Leong Member for Newtown and Greens NSW Spokesperson for Anti-Discrimination said:
“The NSW Anti-Discrimination Act needs a full and independent review. It does not need another ad hoc addition that inserts broad ‘religious vilification’ provisions without other protections or amends.
“Right now we are seeing a disturbing increase of anti-trans and anti-LGBTQIA+ rhetoric and aggression online and on the streets.
“But instead of prioritising protections against discrimination and vilification for the LGBTQIA+ community and sex workers - the amendment introduced today only inserts broad religious protections in the Anti-Discrimination Act.
“We should be amending the Anti-Discrimination Act to remove exemptions that allow religious organisations and small businesses to discriminate.
“Under this bill, the NSW Labor Government will further embolden conservative religious organisations, groups and commentators by introducing broad protections for “religious activity” - which is not clearly defined.
“This legislation also fails to define religious belief and does not limit discrimination to ‘natural persons’.
“The Greens will work with Anti-Discrimination experts and LGBTQIA+ activists on this bill and continue to push for an overhaul of the Anti-Discrimination Act to ensure comprehensive protections for the LGBTQIA+ community and sex workers.”
Commenting on the Minns Labor Government’s major planning and housing announcement today, the Greens are calling for a minimum 30% affordable housing in all new private developments to address the serious housing affordability crisis.
The Government needs to stop outsourcing responsibility for the housing crisis to the private sector and start taking genuine responsibility to ensure that housing is for people, not private profit.
Comment by Greens MP Sue Higginson, spokesperson for Planning and the Environment:
“Taking more power away from councils and local communities to incentivise private developers is the exact opposite of best practice planning pathways. To tackle the housing crisis, the NSW Government should be examining locally driven solutions that are interactive with existing communities and incorporate the local knowledge and planning controls of local councils.
“Abusing the State Significant Development pathway to skip planning controls for private housing developments is not an appropriate way to address the housing crisis. Failed planning regulation that has been consistently weakened over the last two decades has created the illusion that only further private profiteering can solve the issue but that simply isn’t true.
“What the Labor Government is proposing will effectively entrench corporate profits and manipulation of planning regulations as a function of housing developments. Chris Minns needs to break free from the failed corporate model for affordable housing and look to the world for best practice examples of ensuring that workers and residents can access and afford a stable and sustainable home.”
Comment by Greens MP Jenny Leong, Spokesperson for Housing and Homelessness:
“We absolutely welcome the Minns Labor Government’s commitment to boosting affordable housing supply - but we need to be mandating public and affordable housing in all new developments, not incentivising private developer profits.
“A target of 15% affordable housing doesn’t even touch the sides of the housing affordability crisis we are facing.
“The scale and severity of the problem calls for greater ambition: at a minimum, we need to see 30% affordable housing in perpetuity for all new private developments as a prerequisite for development consent.
“The cost of rent and housing is out of control - supply alone will not fix the crisis unless we mandate affordability. This means setting rents for affordable housing relative to income and guaranteeing affordable housing in perpetuity.“