Thursday, September 13, 2018

The sad truth of Aboriginal homelessness in NSW

Today's post written by the Tenants' Union of NSW's Jessica Massa, Legal Officer - Aboriginal Support.

The most recent estimate of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander resident population in Australia was 798,400 people - that’s just 3.3% of the total Australian population. Of this number, an estimated 216,176 are living in NSW, meaning that NSW is home to the highest number of people of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander origin.

Shockingly Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people could make up over 24% of those accessing specialist homelessness services in 2015–16, and 6% of the entire homeless population in NSW. These alarming and growing rates of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander homelessness need to be addressed. But first we must understand how we got here.

There are a myriad of issues and injustices that have contributed towards these figures. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people face:
However it is hard to go past the historic and ongoing injustice associated with the way Australia has treated land and property since it acquired it under a false legal claim in 1770. It isn’t surprising that a people whose land was stolen are now largely excluded from the wealth generated by property ownership on which modern Australia relies so heavily.
ABS Data

Included in the rising homelessness figures are persons living in boarding houses, persons in severely crowded dwellings and persons in temporary lodgings – all renters in some form. A large number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people reside in public housing under Family and Community Services, and the Aboriginal Housing Office, largely because they are unable to afford or be accepted in the private rental market. All told, 60% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in NSW are renters.

Homelessness NSW

At the Tenants Union, working directly with the four Aboriginal Tenants Advice and Advocacy Services across NSW, we hear first-hand of the myriad of tenancy issues facing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander renters. There are continuous instances of illegal lockout, failures to repair, no grounds terminations, retaliatory evictions, domestic violence from co-tenants, and uninhabitable premises. These issues face tenants across the array of Aboriginal Housing in NSW, from public, to community, to private housing, Land Council houses, reserves, and Aboriginal Co-operatives. All contribute towards the increasing percentage of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people experiencing homelessness.

Until these issues can be eradicated, and we can adopt a more just approach to land and housing for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, and for all of us,the sad truth is that the rate of Aboriginal homelessness in NSW will continue to increase.

The Tenants Union is currently working on developing an Aboriginal Renting Policy, in consultation with Aboriginal tenants and Aboriginal organisations, to find out more about what the community feels are the most pressing issues in need of change in tenancy law and policy in NSW. This policy will form the platform for the TU to advocate for change for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander tenants in NSW.

Friday, August 10, 2018

Auditor-General calls 'three strikes' on anti-social behaviour policy

The Auditor-General office today released its report into FACS' anti-social behaviour policy. If we lived in a world led by evidence-based policy decisions it should be the nail in the coffin of the punitive anti-tenant approach to social housing.

But let's take a brief look at the key point in the report, which does make other recommendations about the systems and training in FACS, and focus on the key question of - is the scheme doing what it is meant to?

As the Report says the stated aims of the three strikes approach was  supposed to:
• improve the behaviour of a minority of tenants engaging in antisocial behaviour
• create better, safer communities for law-abiding tenants, including those who are ageing and vulnerable.

It is clear from the report that these aims have failed, and the government should reconsider its approach.

Only 21% of tenants thought that things had improved since the strikes system was bought in. But even worse - what do FACS think. Has it made neighbourhood safety and security better?

A resounding no.
But this shouldn't come as a surprise to the government or the Department - at its introduction, we told the government the policy would not help and that more support, not more punishment was the answer.

Since it's still relevant here is our recommendation to government at the time:
The Tenants’ Union of NSW agrees that a better response to dysfunction in neighbourhoods should be a high priority for Government. We accept the prevalence of dysfunction is a genuine concern for residents in neighbourhoods with high concentrations of social housing tenancies, and areas of relative socio-economic disadvantage. But the schemes set out in the Residential Tenancies and Housing Legislation Amendment Bill (Public Housing – Antisocial Behaviour) Bill 2015 go too far.
The Tenants’ Union does not support the bill. We call upon the NSW Government to withdraw the bill, and embark instead upon a genuine process of consultation with tenants, housing advocates, social housing landlords and other interested parties to develop and implement strategies to improve cohesion and resilience in all neighbourhoods where there are high degrees of disadvantage. By contrast, the bill will only encourage adversarial and punitive responses.
Where criminal and antisocial behaviour cannot be tackled through greater investment in neighbourhood and community cohesion, the Residential Tenancies Act 2010 already provides adequate avenues for social housing landlords to end tenancies, including on all of the grounds set out in the bill.
This aligns with the views of many other experts in this area. The experiences of Queensland and WA also demonstrated the ineffectiveness. It is unfortunate that government did not listen then, and continues not to listen now.

Instead it appears that rather than address the evidence presented, the government is doubling down on the punitive approach - introducing new mandatory evictions, bonds on public housing tenants, and changing the strikes process to make it more likely first strikes will be issued.

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Renting with bats, mice and squirrels in the wild Midwest USA

Today we have a special guest appearance from Chloe Schumacher, an intern from the USA working at the TU. As Australia considers the possibilities offered by 'build-to-rent' landlords, she presents a timely example of the need to look past the marketing promises of 'institutional' or corporate landlords. This experience is not a one off - recent research found many housing advocates raising concerns about the approach corporate landlords take in the USA.

The first time I had ever rented a home was with five friends back home in Iowa. We are all in college and renting a home off campus is very normal after your first year in college. It was mid summer when we all moved in, and the first night I spent in the house was when the problems began.
I woke up around 3:00am to something hitting my chest. My hand hit something off my bed and that is when the fluttering started. I had woken up to realize there was not one, but several bats flying around in my room! My first terrified thought was to get out, but when I opened the door the pack flew into the kitchen and throughout the rest of the house. 

After this incident my roommates and I tried to call the rental company’s complaint and emergency hotline, but received no answer. Due to receiving no answer we all went into the office the next morning to sort out how to get rid of the families of bats living in our home. We explained the situation and our concerns – bats can carry rabies, their bite can’t be felt, and their faeces is a health hazard. After the story and explanations of concern, I was told that it was bat season; therefore there was nothing that they could do!
After being told that there was nothing that our renting company could do to rid our house of the infestation, we decided to be hopeful and leave our front door open to try and let them fly out on their own. This didn’t end up working; instead the bats went to sleep, hanging from the living room ceiling away from the door, due to it being so hot outside. They liked our house because it was nice and cool!
We had numerous run-ins with the bats. There were many times when one would be hanging inside the door frame and then when the door was shut, it would accidentally be smashed and injured or killed. Due to being concerned about rabies and other diseases, we decide to keep a few of the dead bats to send to be tested. After receiving positive results for the bats caring diseases, we became increasingly concerned and continued to seek out our landlord for help. The battle lasted for over 2 months and included several sessions of the five of us planting ourselves in their office and asking to speak to manager or company head. We even resorted to bringing in and leaving the bats in the office that had died in our home to try and prove a point.
We could go no longer go into our basement and finally after the two-month plea for someone to come out and do something about our bat invasion, our landlord sent over a maintenance crew.  These two men had no idea what to do about bats and were only trained in carpentry; they claimed they couldn’t find any bats. Since our landlord had sent someone out as we had asked, they acted as if they had done all they could to help.
It wasn’t until a few days after the carpenters had visited that a police officer was called and he kindly collected all of the bats in our living room and removed them. This process took him over two hours to catch and release the creatures, because they are protected in Iowa and much of the United States.
Even though our bat problem had been solved, we continued to have animal problems in the home throughout the rest of our tenancy. There was a large nest of mice living in the basement and they would also get into cupboards, but when we complained about this we were told the house is old and that is to be expected. If we wanted anything done about the mice, we were told we’d have to figure it out ourselves. Later we had squirrels and mice in our walls and again we received no help and were told it is just part of living in Iowa and in an older home. So, we dealt with the scratching noises that they created at night in the walls. Another problem we had was the power would randomly go out. When we complained about this, we were told it was due to the mice chewing away at cables and they weren’t responsible for such instances, even though we had complained about the mice problem previously!
The company we rented from was unhelpful and eventually became rude whenever any of my roommates or myself even entered the office building. We were treated more as a nuisance than customers, or even tenants. All of our requests for help were met with excuses and explanations of “that’s just how it is.” Unfortunately this isn’t an uncommon scenario in my college town, because a single company owns a very large majority of the homes and apartments for rent in the area. This allows the company to provide unsatisfactory tenancy experiences but still not go out of business. This is a huge problem where I am from and the company has been taken to court on many different occasions for their actions (or inaction). In fact, they would often only respond to tenants who were paying rent above a certain grade and the rest of the tenants who didn’t pay as much were never helped or even received a response to complaints or maintenance requests. Students have even come to expect that they will never see their deposit money back, even if they were perfect tenants and did not damage the home at all.
This company is the backbone of the renting industry where I am from, which allows them to get away with their mistreatment of tenants. Students are forced to just deal with their tenancy problems – like living in a pest menagerie –, because we have no other option of places to rent from within in a reasonable distance from campus. 

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Because of her, we can: NAIDOC Week 2018

Here at the Tenants Union, we are lucky to have an incredible network of Tenant Advocates working actively across the state with tenants to help resolve their tenancy issues. They are an incredible bunch of people, who help to keep the wheel of justice running (somewhat) smoothly.

The four Koori Tenants Advice services are dotted across all corners of NSW, with the Western Aboriginal Tenants Advice and Advocacy Service in Dubbo, the Greater Sydney Aboriginal Tenants Service in St Mary’s, the Southern Murra Mia Tenant Advocacy Service in Batemans Bay, and the Northern NSW Aboriginal Tenants Advice and Advocacy Service in Grafton and Newcastle – supported by the Dtarawarra Aboriginal Resource Unit.

These services work tirelessly with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander tenants across NSW, managing every range of tenancy issue you could imagine, as well as the intricacies and difficulties that come with the Aboriginal Housing sector.

Each of the services are bolstered by some incredible female tenant advocates, who we are celebrating with our 2018 NAIDOC video, tying into the NAIDOC theme for 2018 being ‘Because of Her, we can’. Some of our advocates are shyer than others about appearing on camera and we couldn’t quite coax them all into filming an interview, but we are very grateful to each of them for the wonderful work that they are doing in supporting and advocating for the rights of all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander tenants across NSW.

Thanks to all of the extraordinary women who make up our Koori TAAS network, you are truly remarkable!

Saturday, June 23, 2018

2018 Renting World Cup - Group Stages

Australia has been performing better than expected at the FIFA World Cup in Russia and we've been watching, cheering and hoping we'll find a path out of the group stages. But how would we perform if countries were being judged on the way renting works in each country? We decided to try and find out!

There is not a lot of information for many countries in the World Cup, so sources are a little sketchy. We apologise in advance for any errors. For a more serious comparison of Australia to other countries, check out this recent AHURI guide. We've based the group stages on the rating given by property investor website Global Property Guide, which judges almost all 32 countries on a scale from "Extremely Pro-Landlord" to "Extremely Pro-Tenant". We have converted that to a number scale of 1 to 5. For tie breakers we've referred to the amount of public housing in the country. The full groups stage list is here. We don't necessarily agree with every referee's decision here, but that's the fun of sport!

Click for full-size!

Here is each group, zoomed in for easier reading.
Group A: Russia and Egypt make it through, leaving Saudi Arabia and Uruguay behind. Russia with a strong public housing presence looks like they may go far in the tournament.

Group B: Spain was the clear winner out of this group, with Iberian rivals Portugal only a point behind. Morocco and Iran both left to consider whether pro-landlord systems was the right playbook.
Group C: Denmark and France dominated this group, with Australia left at the bottom of the group behind Peru. Hopefully in 4 years time we'll have sorted some of the problems that kept us down this time!
Group D: Iceland and Croatia shared top spot in this low-scoring group, Iceland taking the number one spot with a relatively high 12% public housing. The group also saw the first 1 - Extremely Pro-Landlord score for Nigeria. The country actually has some strong protections on paper, but they fail to deliver when it matters.
Group E: 3 teams competed for the top spot in this pro-tenant group, but Serbia and Switzerland's higher public housing meant they edged out Costa Rica. Football powerhouses Brazil were left in last place with very few protections for tenants.
Group F: Sweden dominated this group beating out the more famously pro-tenant Germany for top spot. Mexico equaled Germany's score but Germany scraped through to the round of 16 with a higher public housing. South Korea was left behind perhaps judged unfairly for their unusual jeon-see system which sees tenants pay rent for 10 years up front.
Group G: Belgium easily won this group, with England only just holding off Panama and Tunisia. England managed to scrape through on their significant public housing numbers, but with this stock under threat, will they do the same next time?
Group H: Poland and Colombia were lucky to make it to the next round in another low-scoring group. Senegal managed to beat Japan to avoid bottom of the group status. Japan has fallen a long way since the turn of the century with GPG moving them from pro-tenant to extremely pro-landlord in the last two decades.
See you next week for the finals, tenancy fans!

Flag icons in this post designed by Freepik

Friday, June 22, 2018

NSW Budget week 2018: Ain't nothin going on but the rent?

With $3.9 billion surplus, this week the government splashed out with a budget they described as one 'for everyone'.

If only it were true. In reality it is very much a decision to keep on the same path when it comes to housing, and that's really a decision to help property investors at the expense of the rest of us. As Professor Peter Phibbs points out in one article there is little support for people renting on lower incomes:
“If you claim to be pushing a people’s budget, they’re the people that are in pain,” Mr Phibbs said.
“If you’re someone aged in your late 20s the fact house prices have gone up more than 70 per cent means that even if they have come back 5 per cent, you’re still not going to be out there celebrating,” he said.
“The state government has made a fortune out of stamp duty … they should be investing more of that money back into the supply of housing.”
Since we're talking about that fortune, now is a good time to think about whether stamp duty should continue to be relied on as a revenue stream. The budget papers described stamp duty as a “highly volatile revenue source” and numerous people, including the NSW Treasurer, accept that there are better alternatives - such as a broad-based land tax, the fairest tax.

We need a good supply of housing which is truly affordable to those that need it most. The Government's current plan which mostly centers on transferring public housing to community housing and the private market is not sustainable. Though it might be true to describe NSW's Communities Plus as Australia's largest social housing building program, this is more of an indictment on the country as a whole rather than something for NSW to be proud of. Public housing remains one of the best investments a government can make. Community housing can and should also be expanded, though this should not be at the cost of a well-run public housing system.

There is a clear need to shift from a reliance on property ownership to house the population. An innovative and forward-looking government, flush with cash earned from a property boom that creates winners and losers, should also be exploring ideas like expanding and encouraging community led housing models like co-operatives.

While nothing much happened for housing in the Budget, plenty happened in and around parliament  this week.

On Wednesday, the day kicked off with a renter's rights assembly out the front calling for an end to no grounds evictions.

Later that day inside the Lower House, debate began on the government's short term holiday lettings bill. The TU was mentioned a couple of times, with the ALP's Shadow Minister Yasmin Catley and Alex Greenwich both referring to concerns we have with the current proposal and flagging amendments.

On Thursday two things of note happened in parliament. The government introduced a bill to apply a range of new and harsh measures to public housing tenants, including bonds for public housing tenants. Minister Goward went on TV in the evening to repeat the claim that public housing is a privilege not a right.

Ch 7 News, 21/06/2018

However earlier that day NSW parliament had passed the following motion, introduced by the Greens MP Jenny Leong, and with members of the Coalition, Labor, and independent Alex Greenwich speaking to it:
The Hansard for the motion is well worth a read.

On the one hand we had a budget that did little to alleviate the housing crisis, and social housing legislation proposing to make life much more difficult for the people government is supposed to be assisting. But there are positive signs of changes afoot. We have a parliament who has officially recognised that housing is a human right and that it is government's role to ensure safe, secure habitable and affordable housing and a growing movement to ensure they deliver.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

A longer lease on life: issues for older renters

With a surplus of $3.9 billion for 2016-17, the 2018 NSW State Budget had its winners and losers. The latter include seniors and renters. This blog examine some of the issues confronting older renters.

How does one define 'older person'. There is a helpful discussion of the definition of 'age' in the Australian Law Reform Commission's Discussion Paper on 'Elder Abuse'. Paragraphs [1.33] and [1.36] read:
The idea of someone being an ‘older’ person is a relative concept — chronologically, medically and culturally. It does not have a precise definition and specific ages may be used for particular purposes. For example, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) groups people into population age cohorts, and differentiates between ‘15 – 64’, ‘65 years and over’ and ‘85 years and over’. People over 65 are generally classified as ‘older’ for ABS purposes.
Family and Community Services’ NSW Ageing Strategy 2016-2020 (pp 26-28) identifies older people’s ability to live in affordable, accessible, adaptable and stable housing as a priority of the NSW Government. It asserts:
... older people increasingly prefer to ‘age in place’ and grow older in their own communities – close to friends, family and services.
The NSW Government does not have an explicit ‘ageing-in-place’ policy. Certainly, it would be worthwhile implementing an explicit policy and, further, establish benchmarks against which wider Government policies can be measured regarding consistency. The value of this will become obvious further into this blog.

Nevertheless, a number of significant documents commissioned as part of the NSW Ageing Strategy refer to it, where a basic principle underlying it being that older people know what is best for their own lives and have the right to make decisions on their own behalf. An ‘ageing-in-place’ friendly policy provides the incentives for individuals to remain living in a community to which they have a strong attachment, either in their existing residence or alternate accommodation, with service supports.

Dire circumstances

Alan Morris’s book entitled The Australian Dream: Housing Experiences of Older Australians draws on the stories of 125 Australian pensioners and compares their experiences with the trends and needs of an ageing Australia. He probes the growing divide between older private renters, those who live in social housing and pensioners living in their own home. Here's an excerpt about private renting:
It's like a pressure cooker. You don't know where to go or what to do.' ... 'It was so desperate, the search for affordable accommodation, that I went down with a heart thing and was rushed to hospital.
On 26 October 2016, quoting from Alan Morris's publication, Jennifer Duke says that at least 100,000 older Australians in the private rental sector are living in 'dire circumstances' ... and this figure is expected to grow substantially if current policies and approaches to housing affordability aren’t changed.

On 12 December 2016, Alan Morris penned an article for The Conversation entitled ‘Why secure and affordable housing is an increasing worry for age pensioners’. He writes:
An increasing proportion of older Australians on the age pension will be dependent on the private rental sector in coming decades ... and the prospects for this group are grim.
An increasing number of older women in the private rental market face homelessness and have been described as ‘the new face of poverty. Read an article called ‘Older renters: the new face of poverty’. It reads:
The evidence mounts. The number of older, single women in the private rental market increased by a massive 50 percent between the 2006 and 2011 ABS Censuses.

The private rental sector across Australia has grown in size and significance in the last 30 years. Between 2001 and 2010 about 1.7 million Australians dropped out of home ownership and shifted back to renting. More than one in three did not return by 2010.

Private rental now provides long term tenancy for a growing and diverse number of Australian households. If large numbers of long term renters aged 45-64 years remain in the rental sector, they could swell the number of long-term private renters aged 65 years and above quite substantially in the coming decades.

Many older women experiencing a housing crisis or homelessness have led conventional lives and never previously had a housing crisis. As private renters, especially in tight housing markets like Sydney and some regional centres, they are at great risk of unaffordable rents, insecure housing, eviction and homelessness.
Also, an excellent essay by Anwen Crawford picks up this same theme. She writes about 'Nowhere to go – older women and housing vulnerability’ and finds:
The number of older women who are rental tenants in Australia is growing, and these women ... are increasingly vulnerable to poverty and homelessness ... Housing affordability and security for rental tenants will only become a more pressing issue as Australia’s population continues to age. And with more people unable to afford to buy a home, changes to housing policy now will help to determine the living conditions of tenants in the future.
2016 Census

The 2016 Census found a significant increase in the number of people renting in New South Wales. Indeed, there was a slight shift away from home ownership towards renting. There were 826,922 renter households at the 2016 Census, which was 83,870 more than there were in 2011. To put this into context, that's almost double the increase we saw between 2006 and 2011. It also means our renting population has gone up in percentage terms since 2011, too - from 30.1% to 31.8% in 2016. It also means that more people are renting for longer. Read more here. On top of this, Australia’s population is ageing. Those aged 65 years and over now account for 16% of the total population, compared to 14% in 2011. The median age has increased to 38 years, after remaining at 37 years for the past decade. Read more here.

Following the release of the 2016 Census, there have been a number of reports highlighting the problems of life-long renters.

In March 2017, The New Daily examined the most recent population statistics. Australia is ageing and life expectancy is greater. The stats show that from 2012 to 2016, the proportion of the Australian population aged 65 and over increased from 14.14 to 15.27 per cent.

Kirsten Robb writes: 'Life-long renters face financial stress in retirement'... according to a paper by Swinburne University, which found more Australians are renting in retirement and facing financial stress. The report that she refers to is one by Andrea Sharam, Liss Ralston and Sharon Parkinson of Swinburne Institute for Social Research. They found:
The proportion of aged persons in Australia is set to increase significantly, posing many challenges. Amongst these is the growing number of households who lack housing security in retirement. ... Our findings indicate that social change, and adverse ‘critical life events’ have significant impacts on households by and at midlife, and beyond. Of particular concern is that the housing market itself is a key source of wealth accumulation and dispossession. A very marked outcome is that to be private renter at 45 years of age is likely to mean being a renter and highly impoverished, in retirement.
Teresa Somes of Macquarie University writes for The Conversation: 'More and more older Australians will be homeless unless we act now.'

Eileen Webb and Gill North write: 'Suitable, affordable housing is key to our population ageing well'.

Ben Phillips of the Australian National University writes for The Conversation:
... the more pressing social problem for Australia remains the lack of affordable rental housing for lower-income families that is close to jobs and services in our capital cities. ... An ageing population with potentially lower home ownership rates will add to this problem in future years.
And Ned Cutcher of Shelter NSW writes that more people are renting much later into life.

More recent media

You will find recent media coverage, reports and publications on older renters in this document.

What is the reality for older renters?

Various words have been used to described the plight of older renters: Overlooked, A distinct financial disadvantage, Condemned, Vulnerable and Financial stress … and that’s just for starters.

As discussed above, there are many issues confronting older renters. So here's my summary:
  • Weak security of tenure. True for all renters, but compounded if you are older ... check out Choice’s publication entitled ‘Unsettled’. Read about it and find a link here. Also, check out the ‘Make renting fair’ campaign. Indeed, Australia fairs poorly in an international comparison of security of tenure for renters.
  • Only token acknowledgement of ‘ageing in place’ ... The redevelopment of old public housing estates poses real hardships for many older tenants. The forced relocation of residents of Millers Point in inner Sydney highlights the failings of Government when only lip service is given to ‘ageing-in-place’. Read the blog in The Brown Couch here. In 2015 and 2017 the Tenants' Union of NSW made submissions to Elder Abuse Inquiries of both the NSW Legislative Council and the Australian Law Reform Commission (ALRC) here and here. We argued that a government policy, in itself, may constitute a form of elder abuse. We submitted that the NSW Government’s decision to relocate all the social housing tenants in the suburb of Millers Point is an example of systemic elder abuse.
  • Restricted access to home modifications ... private landlords have little incentive to modify properties to suit the needs of older tenants. Older renters are forced to move as dwellings are no longer appropriate to their needs and residential tenancy legislation fails to adequately address this. Here’s the current state of play.
  • Residential land lease communities (also called ‘residential parks’) as an alternative for older people ... Today business is viewing residential parks as money-making ventures, with some being promoted as an alternative to retirement villages. But, homes in residential parks, once seen as a cheaper option, now are regularly sold for amounts over $300,000. Indeed in 2016, two on the North Coast of NSW sold for over $1 million. Residents may own their home, but they do not own the land and remain vulnerable should the park be sold from under them.
  • Pets is an issue with particular meaning for older tenants. Check out this site. Recently, there has been increased media coverage of this issue in Australia. Read Wendy Squires’ article called 'Landlords, have a heart and let your tenants have a pet'. The Tenants Union of NSW wants to see the decision to keep pets to sit with the tenants rather than the owners.
What can we do?

For an excellent discussion on what to do in order to address the more dire needs of older renters, check out the 'Ageing on the Edge’ report released on 29 November 2017. It contains thirteen recommendations that the NSW Government can act on now. The Tenants’ Union of NSW is represented on the ‘Ageing at the Edge’ Working Group in NSW. You will find a summary of the report here and the full report here.

Postscript on 26 July 2018

Here's three new links which are food for thought ...

Allison Worrall writes: 'Choice of food or rent: Housing crisis deepens.' Read her article here.

Isabelle Lane writes: 'Older Australians are falling off the housing ladder and face spending their retirement as renters, with the situation expected to worsen for coming generations.' Read her article here. You may check out Grattan Retirement Incomes Model (GRIM) here.

AHURI provides an excellent analysis of the situation facing older low income tenants in the private rental sector. This link also points to some current research. Check it out here.