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Rental Inquiry – recommendations

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Recently the Senate Community Affairs standing committee handed down it’s report into the worsening rental crisis in Australia, including a number of recommendations.

Make Renting Fair made a submission to the inquiry calling for rent caps, an end to no grounds evictions and much more.

The introduction included the following statements:

Australia is in the midst of a rental crisis. Over the course of the inquiry, the Senate Community Affairs References Committee (the committee) heard powerful accounts from renters who shared their struggles of securing and maintaining adequate housing that meets their needs. First and foremost, this is not a discussion about bricks and mortar: this is a human crisis.

Housing is a fundamental human right.[2] Yet, across Australia today, experiences of housing insecurity and precarity abound. Too many people are struggling to meet rising costs of rent; paying too much for properties that are in disrepair; and living with the constant fear of eviction and homelessness, unable to plan for the future or put down roots in local communities.

The Chair of the Inquiry, Greens Senator Janet Rice, put forward the following recommendations:

The enormous number of submissions to this inquiry—both written and through the simplified submission process—has revealed the depth and breadth of the housing and rental crisis. Renters across Australia are clearly hurting and they are desperate to have their stories heard.

The evidence presented in this report demonstrates a housing system in disrepair and a patchwork of largely insufficient and weak regulations. To meaningfully address the housing and rental crisis, urgent reforms are needed beyond what is currently being undertaken by the government.

These reforms are reflected in the suite of recommendations I have put forward as Chair of the Committee. These include a significant boost in our public and affordable housing stock, rent caps and freezes and other housing measures to provide immediate relief to renters and strengthen renter’s rights, and a range of other actions to address issues with Australia’s tax system, short-term rentals and planning system.

It is staggering and incredibly disappointing that despite listening to the devastating testimonies of renters across the country, both Labor and Liberal have not committed to stronger recommendations. By putting forward recommendations that fail to address the impact of unregulated rent hikes, the inadequacy of income support and the magnitude of the gap in our affordable housing stock, both parties are revealing their indifference to renters and the housing crisis more broadly.

You can read the report in full here.