Greens NSW Housing spokesperson, Jenny Leong MP has condemned the Minister for Family and Community Services and Social Housing, Pru Goward for pushing through legislation which will force unfair bonds and conditions on public housing tenants while allowing for mandatory evictions.
“This latest punitive attack on public housing tenants comes right in the middle of Homelessness Week and means that some public housing tenants will end up homeless and on the street,” she said.
“Exactly one year ago, Pru Goward, marked Homelessness Week by rushing through legislation that increased police powers to forcibly remove homeless people from Martin Place. Today with the passage of this disgraceful legislation, we see the Minister again attacking those she is supposed to be supporting.
“This Bill places significant financial pressure on public housing tenants, and makes it easier for people living in public and social housing to be evicted if they are not able to pay.
“The Greens abhor this Minister’s lack of compassion and her inability to see that what is needed in public housing is a massive injection of funds and support services for those more vulnerable tenants who are being demonized rather than supported.
“A broad range of expert stakeholder groups including the Tenants Union of NSW, Homelessness NSW, Shelter NSW, People with Disablity Australia, NCOSS and the Combined Pensioners and Superannuants Association of NSW, raised serious concerns about this bill and issued a joint statement calling for the plan to be dropped – but this Minister is just not listening to anyone, she said.
“It is so disappointing the NSW Labor didn’t oppose this heartless legislation from the Liberals and Nationals. The Greens will always stand up and speak out against measures that don’t put housing first.
In relation to the Bond Scheme, the bill enables NSW Government public housing providers (Land and Housing Corporation and the Aboriginal Housing Office) to require a tenant to pay a rental bond of up to $1400 at any time after a residential tenancy agreement has commenced.
Apparently the rental bond will only be required if a tenant has caused significant damage to their property – but the details of how this will work are unknown and will be set up in Ministerial guidelines