Today’s announcement from the NSW Liberal National Government to redevelop empty land across from Redfern Oval, that until 2013 was 100% public housing, will see more public land flogged off for private profit. The plans announced today propose to build 300 new apartments at the site, of which none appears to be public housing, only one third would be for community housing and the vast majority for private development.
Rent bidding must be banned alongside genuine protections for renters including ending no grounds evictions, freezing and controlling rents, and banning intrusive rental applications. Commenting on reports today that the NSW Fair Trading Minister is looking into reform that would ban rent bidding, Greens spokesperson for Housing and Renters and Member for Newtown, Jenny Leong MP said:“Rent bidding should absolutely be banned, but we don’t need an investigation to tell us what we already know – dodgy agents and landlords are exploiting and profiting from the rental crisis. “Conversations with people on the street, and endless stories in the news, show us just how bad the power imbalance between renters and their real estate agent or landlords has gotten. “This is not a new problem and the Liberal Nationals have had 11 years in power to fix the rental crisis, instead they have ignored the renters in their communities and prioritised the interests of investors, real estate agents, and landlords. “The Greens welcome the government’s focus on banning rent bidding, but let’s not hide under the cover of an investigation when we know it’s a problem right now. “Every single day renters are being hit with massive rent increases they’re too fearful to negotiate or treading on eggshells to ask for basic repairs because of the threat of being evicted. “At a time when more people are renting than ever before, and for longer, we need to fix the conditions that have made chronic insecurity part and parcel of renting. “The Greens had a bill that would have addressed the crisis faced by renters, but Labor and Liberal shamefully teamed up to block it. “Rent bidding must be banned alongside genuine protections for renters including ending no grounds evictions, freezing and controlling rents, and banning intrusive rental applications.”
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.
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.”