Homelessness advocates call for ban on “no cause eviction”

Homelessness NSW called on government to ban detrimental policy.

In an attempt to reduce the rate of homelessness among older women, homelessness advocates in New South Wales have urged the government to create better, stronger policies, allowing rental subsidies for older women and banning a current policy that allows renters to be evicted without cause.

These policy suggestions were released on International Women’s Day on Tuesday, as part of a plan drafted by a number of homelessness services, including Homelessness NSW.

According to comprehensive research conducted recently, women aged 50 and over make up the largest group of homeless people in Australia. And the number is growing.

According to YWCA NSW chief executive Anna Bligh, the reason why older women are more at risk of homelessness is due to their having inadequate superannuation savings to see them through their older years. This is due to lower salaries, interrupted careers in order to raise children and care for relatives, and working in low-skilled or low-paid jobs.

“Homelessness is an emerging trend with older women – our data shows us that, over the last five to six years, we’ve seen an acceleration in the number of women over 55 seeking out our homelessness services for the very first time,” said Ms Bligh.

The plan, developed by Homelessness NSW, called for a change to the “no cause eviction” clause in the Residential Tenancies Act, which says that tenants who are behind on rent may be evicted with just 14 days’ notice. Homelessness advocacy groups want to see that this clause, which has particular bearing on older tenants, is banned.

The plan also calls for introduction of new services and products, specifically geared towards assisting older women. This includes an entitlement to a private rental subsidy that would mirror subsidies offered to other at-risk groups, such as those with disabilities, who are waiting for social housing. Additionally, Homelessness NSW is encouraging the government to consider incentives for landlords to agree to long-term leases for older tenants.

The Residential Tenancies Act is currently being reviewed by NSW Fair Trading, with a report due back to the government in mid-2016.

Read more at theguardian.com.

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    COMMENTS

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    particolor
    14th Mar 2016
    9:16am
    No comments here as they cant afford the Internet either ! :-(
    Anonymous
    14th Mar 2016
    10:53am
    Then they are definitely not "refugees".
    MICK
    14th Mar 2016
    11:33am
    Welcome home stranger! Thought you might have croaked it.
    Anonymous
    14th Mar 2016
    11:49am
    Thank you, mick. No, I'm a silent frog, so far. Just had a few things to attend to.
    MICK
    14th Mar 2016
    1:03pm
    You too Eddie. I was actually referring to particolor who I have not seen a lot of for some time. Welcome back both........
    It's been very quiet on this website since the government trolls crawled back under their rocks. Thanks guys....gives me a breather!
    Anonymous
    14th Mar 2016
    2:04pm
    To that I can only add: "OMG" and "Vote independent".
    particolor
    14th Mar 2016
    8:04pm
    Get the Windsor into yer sails :-( Or Rejoice with Joyce :-( OOW ! What a Choice ?? :-( I might take up Poetry or Pottery ? Its Clay whichever way :-)
    Hullo Mick Hullo Eddie The subjects haven't been up to My Education Level lately, To much Politics which Matter Squat nowadays since Democracy was Abolished !! :-( I have been busy watching the Zulu Wars in Melbourne though !! :-) :-) And Malcolm welcoming the Ancient Peace Religion into the Fold ! :-( :-( Ill get back when I get this Train Carriage Seat Removed from around my neck! :-( It came hurtling down from a Passing train on the Bridge !! :-( :-( Bye for now ! :-)
    bartpcb
    14th Mar 2016
    10:29am
    It is a shame on our society that we have allowed this condition to arise.
    bartpcb
    14th Mar 2016
    10:29am
    It is a shame on our society that we have allowed this condition to arise.
    Anonymous
    14th Mar 2016
    10:52am
    Yes, it is.

    Yes, it is.
    particolor
    14th Mar 2016
    8:06pm
    And Arisen it Has !! :-(
    MICK
    14th Mar 2016
    11:24am
    Another article from the same author promoting female bias.....which excludes men. Why am I not surprised? I would have thought looking at 'people' rather than 'women' would have been a balanced and fair approach. Apparently not.
    Sorry Amelia but much of your 'journalism' is feminist gup'. Bias, discrimination and unfair treatment is what women's groups always claim women are suffering. The reality is far more complex and probably more about cherry picking than fact or fairness of any sort.
    Paulodapotter
    14th Mar 2016
    12:10pm
    Homelessness for evicted women is disproportionally higher for elderly women, but any change forbidding eviction and providing rent relief as described would benefit everyone. There's no suggestion of bias, but then where are the men stepping up to protect the well being of men? Put your hand up, Mick.
    MICK
    14th Mar 2016
    12:57pm
    I do. Constantly. Unfortunately blokes most suffer in silence and seldom push the 'disadvantage' wagon. Whilst we may get what we deserve I still find it obnoxious that bra burning feminists turn issue into them and us....and then have a lapse of memory when their agenda is anything other than fair.
    It's a game.
    HarrysOpinion
    14th Mar 2016
    5:44pm
    I knew of one woman who lived in a boarding house room (10’x7’), She failed to pay her rent. She disposed of her wipes down the toilet causing (eventually) a major plumbing blockage. She accumulated her rubbish bags in her room that eventually filled the entire room up to a waist height. Apparently she slept on top of the rubbish bags. When she couldn’t enter her room because the rubbish bags jammed the opening of the door she left. It took two workers a day and a half to remove the rubbish at a high cost to the landlord. The room could not be rented out for a month due to fumigation. The smell was putrid.
    A month later I read about this same woman who’s story appeared in a Community Neighbourhood magazine how hard it was for women like her to find accommodation because they were on Centrelink support, but there was no mention in the magazine about this woman’s destructive character habits. Either the Community Neighbourhood journalist of the story didn’t know about this woman’s ugly habits or it was deliberately left out.
    Some homeless people are homeless for an array of reasons but landlords need to be protected against non-payment of rent, destruction of property, anti-social malicious and violent conduct.
    Renters may fall behind rent from time to time but if they do the right thing and inform their landlords how they intend to catch up, most renters will be given the benefit of the doubt and allowed to meet their promise. If renters habitually miss out on paying the rent on time the landlords have every right to evict them. Renting private properties is not a charity; it’s a business, an income that the landlord depends on. One doesn’t simply walk in to a Supermarket, loads a trolley of food stuff and checks out by saying “ I’ll pay you later”.
    A ‘no cause’ eviction policy on the other hand is unfair to the renters who have done everything right to ensure that they have stuck to their lease obligations.
    Rae
    14th Mar 2016
    8:15pm
    HS The woman is obviously mentally ill. Once we were civilised enough to care for the mentally ill. Even in Medieval times it was normal for mentally ill people to become the responsibility of the community.

    There are a lot of homeless in need of care as they cannot care for themselves. They should be housed in hostels with trained carers.

    We send billions to other countries because we are so rich but can't care for our own.

    I agree it is not a landlords responsibility to house those needing supervision and care.
    particolor
    14th Mar 2016
    8:25pm
    True True Rae ! :-)
    Heskwith
    14th Mar 2016
    12:30pm
    I have heard that some work being done on social housing is unnecessary; ie that money which could sustain needy renters is being used paying trades to replace fixtures etc to no purpose.
    eg: One or two units need something renewed, so the whole block of units gets done. Equity and sense would demand not renewal for all, but rather that all the fixtures work.
    particolor
    14th Mar 2016
    8:23pm
    Funny how you said that ! They were down here and replaced all the lawns with Sir Walter! (At great expense) except Mine, which I keep in top condition ! :-) The rest of the Clowns here wouldn't know what Water was for ?? Their Places made the Outback look Lush !! :-) And that was a while back now and they have reverted to Desert again !! :-( When the Aria manager came He called into my place and said how's the Oasis Ahab ? I said I wish I was Ahab and Muslim :-) I could do with 10 Grands worth of FREE New White Goods Etc. :-) :-)
    KSS
    14th Mar 2016
    12:39pm
    This all seems a bit one sided to me. Surely failure to pay rent (regardless of the reason) is cause enough for eviction. Even then the reality is that Landlords have a very difficult time in actually evicting someone regardless of the reason. It can and does take months to actually get to court. In NSW the NCAT typically finds in favour of the tenant no matter what the reason the Landlord wants them out. Removal of the right of Landlords to evict tenants would inevitably see fewer rental properties on the market. Whilst there are undoubtedly some bad Landlords and tenants, most do the right thing.

    The real issue is that there is not enough cheap (and descent) rental property for anyone not just older women. Landlords are not charities and should not be made to feel guilty or be punished for the failure of society as a whole to look after the truly needy.
    MICK
    14th Mar 2016
    12:59pm
    That's a pretty good account. There are plenty of men living on the streets so let's not be fooled by feminist journos over-acting.
    East of Toowoomba
    14th Mar 2016
    2:19pm
    Spot on KSS, I thought the same thing. Surely this will mean people will sell their rental properties rather than risk being unable to evict a tenant for non payment of rent should they need to, in the future.

    AS a homeowner, my bank would evict me if I didn't pay the mortgage and the council would confiscate the property in lieu of rates should I be unable to pay, so why should a tenant be able to stay in a privately owned property if they are unable to pay the rent?
    Bonny
    14th Mar 2016
    7:01pm
    Landowners have many reasons for evicting tenants without cause. I know of one young couple who have accepted an overseas posting and have rented their house to help pay the mortgage while they are away. Imagine coming back to your own home and not being able to evict the tenants. Home owners themselves will then be homeless.

    Rental properties are only marginal investments today so it wont take much for landlords to sell and invest elsewhere.
    MO6B
    14th Mar 2016
    3:44pm
    I have a few friends ,single and no residence who have no home for their retirement. Especially after divorce and separation they have been unable to get back into the housing market. They are too scared to stop work because they know they will be in trouble quick smart when they have to pay today's rent. Met a woman the other day who sleeps out in her car on the South Coast ,not by choice. While she still has a licence she is happy. But what happens when that goes? This is where the there is a mismatch between baby boomers and super..... There are many hidden homeless...and they are not all in the city.
    CindyLou
    14th Mar 2016
    7:49pm
    I think this is ridiculous policy, the landlord often has a mortgage to pay on the property, what should the landlord do with the repayments on their investment loan. Often investment properties are owned by 'mum and dad' investors, this policy would create a financial nightmare for such landlords.

    Further, this situation may eventually be counter productive, landlords may not rent to certain groups of people, such as the aged, just in case...

    I've personally observed landlords who have been screwed financially by tenants, the tribunal is a joke, landlords are forced to pay high Landlord insurance to protect their interest but claims through such insurance policies are extremely difficult, there are excesses and limits to the claims.

    It's really quite simple - pay your rent (or mortgage) first before you pay for anything else...I know there will be howls of objection to this position but it's just the facts.
    particolor
    14th Mar 2016
    8:31pm
    No its Right !! :-) My Rent always takes Preference over ALL other first !! :-) At least You've got a Roof !! :-) You can go Begging for the Rest ! :-(
    Rae
    14th Mar 2016
    8:27pm
    They will need to be very careful. Already the yield on residential real estate is very small and cleaning up after even a good tenant costly. Bonds will rise and landlords be very cautious of lease arrangements if the rules move even further against the property owner. Housing is a very large investment these days and it is not a landlords responsibility to provide for a client's personal needs beyond a reasonable leasing arrangement.

    Those unable to manage physically, mentally or economically should be in the care of society through government hostel provision and paid full time monitors.

    More places for independent pensioners that provide small units and food covered by a major part of the pension need to be available.

    The last thing we need is a huge increase in homelessness.
    particolor
    14th Mar 2016
    8:35pm
    We Import Huge amounts of Homeless People ! But I never see them sleeping on Park Benches ? :-)
    Christine
    15th Sep 2017
    5:57pm
    I was one of the women on the SBS Insight show, Women on the Edge. I was disturbed by the lack of discussion on solutions so started a Facebook group to look at solutions. From that we have developed two main working parties, one to put up an information website for those at housing risk, and another to put together a viable proposal for privately funded affordable housing developments. If you are either homeless or confronting homelessness, come and join us at https://www.facebook.com/groups/HousingAlternativesAustralia/
    Christine
    15th Sep 2017
    6:05pm
    I was one of the women on the SBS Insight show, Women on the Edge. I was disturbed by the lack of discussion on solutions so started a Facebook group to look at solutions. From that we have developed two main working parties, one to put up an information website for those at housing risk, and another to put together a viable proposal for privately funded affordable housing developments. If you are either homeless or confronting homelessness, come and join us at https://www.facebook.com/groups/HousingAlternativesAustralia/


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