Criterion
MEDIA, JOBS & RESOURCES for the COMMON GOOD
NEWS  |  Politics

Rental Reform Win for Homelessness Advocacy


Friday, 7th September 2018 at 5:26 pm
Maggie Coggan, Journalist
The homelessness sector is celebrating significant changes to rental laws in Victoria, which advocates say better protect vulnerable tenants from eviction into homelessness.  


Friday, 7th September 2018
at 5:26 pm
Maggie Coggan, Journalist


0 Comments


FREE SOCIAL
SECTOR NEWS

 Print
Rental Reform Win for Homelessness Advocacy
Friday, 7th September 2018 at 5:26 pm

The homelessness sector is celebrating significant changes to rental laws in Victoria, which advocates say better protect vulnerable tenants from eviction into homelessness.  

Reforms to the Residential Tenancies Act passed the Victorian upper house late Thursday night, with the reforms removing no-reason notices to vacate, building stronger protections for victims of family violence and providing more support for people who fall behind on rent to avoid eviction.

Acting CEO of Council to Homeless Persons (CHP), Kate Colvin, said until these changes were passed it had been “too easy for landlords to evict” and that the new the new rental laws would “protect, rather than punish” tenants who are already disadvantaged.

“We are really excited about it because it’s much better to prevent eviction by making renting more secure, than it is for someone to be evicted, and then for the homeless sector to have to try and re-house them,” Colvin said.

“Last night’s vote shows that people in Parliament having been listening to the concerns of Victorians, and the services that help them, and agree that renters deserve more protections, not less.”

With domestic and family violence one of the major causes of homelessness, the new changes mean rental agreements could be terminated in situations of domestic violence.  

A spokesperson for the Victorian Andrews government said: “The change will ensure victims are not held liable for the debts of their abusers, implementing the Royal Commission into Family Violence’s recommendation to better protect and support victims of family violence living in rental housing.”

Minister for Consumer Affairs Marlene Kairouz, said the new laws were the biggest reform in Victoria’s renting history.

“They are about ensuring everyone who rents has a safe and secure home to call their own,” Kairouz said.    

Colvin said while they welcomed the changes, CHP and the rest of the sector would continue to fight for a focus on affordable and accessible housing, as tenancy laws were only “one part of the picture”.

“We are in a really tight rental market at the moment with a really low vacancy rate and it’s very difficult, particularly for tenants on lower incomes to get a new property if the one they’re in currently doesn’t meet their needs,” she said.

Colvin said CHP and other advocacy bodies worked closely with Tenants Victoria to see these changes through, and would continue to do so to ensure the new reforms, and other issues concerning homelessness, were acted on.     

“CHP has a really long history of working closely with Tenants Victoria and Homeless Law and Victorian Council of Social Service, who have been part of this journey to get residential tenancies reform happening,” she said.

“We will certainly continue to work closely with them.”


Maggie Coggan  |  Journalist  |  @MaggieCoggan

Maggie Coggan is a journalist at Pro Bono News covering the social sector.


Got a story to share?

Got a news tip or article idea for Pro Bono News? Or perhaps you would like to write an article and join a growing community of sector leaders sharing their thoughts and analysis with Pro Bono News readers?

Get in touch at news@probonoaustralia.com.au

Get more stories like this

FREE SOCIAL
SECTOR NEWS

Write a Reply or Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *



YOU MAY ALSO LIKE

Report Says Social Procurement Benefits Both Community and Business   

Maggie Coggan

Wednesday, 15th August 2018 at 4:00 pm

Concerns Raised Over NDIS Barriers for Homeless People With Disability

Maggie Coggan

Tuesday, 7th August 2018 at 8:24 am

Can TV Show Us What it is Really Like to be Homeless?

Paul Carter

Monday, 23rd July 2018 at 1:00 pm

Victoria Takes ‘Exciting Step’ to Reduce Red Tape for Charities

Wendy Williams

Friday, 8th June 2018 at 4:17 pm

POPULAR

$50 million Up For Grabs to Help NFPs Drive Change

Maggie Coggan

Monday, 17th September 2018 at 4:21 pm

Family Faces ‘Devastating’ Loss of Support for Son with Disability

Luke Michael

Tuesday, 11th September 2018 at 8:37 am

Australia’s Most Innovative NFPs Highlighted

Luke Michael

Thursday, 13th September 2018 at 8:41 am

Choice and Control At Risk For NDIS Participants

Luke Michael

Tuesday, 25th September 2018 at 8:54 am

Criterion
pba inverse logo
Subscribe Twitter Facebook

The social sector's most essential news coverage. Delivered free to your inbox every Tuesday and Thursday morning.

You have Successfully Subscribed!