Who we are
Established in 1975, Shelter NSW is the State's peak housing policy and advocacy organisation.
We are independent. We promote social justice. We lead and collaborate. We value expertise and evidence.
Interested in the history of housing activism and the birth of Shelter NSW? Download the Champions of Change eBook by Dr Tony Gilmour.
Call for the NSW Government to better support financially disadvantaged tenants during the Covid19 health and economic crisis
Right now – during the Covid19 Pandemic, we at Shelter NSW are especially concerned about renters right across NSW, many of whom have lost livelihoods and the ability to keep up with their rent payments.
Shelter NSW welcomed the Prime Minister’s statement in March, but we believe that the financial package is too modest and in practice, will offer very little in terms of financial relief. This is especially the case as we approach the end of the Federal Government’s temporary welfare support in September.
At present, we believe that:
- The threshold for protection is too high;
- There is no requirement for genuine rent reduction; and
- Actual rent relief is very limited in practice.
Renters on low-to-moderate (or no) income need more help now. Shelter NSW calls on the NSW parliament to amend current legalisation and regulations to:
- Create a ‘last resort’ hardship program for renters suffering
financial hardship due to Covid-19;
- Remove lease break payments for tenants needing to move; and
- Extend the period of ‘restricted’ rental arrears evictions from 6 months to 12 months.
Our full statement can be found here. We hope the NSW Government will take our asks into consideration so that renters are not left behind in these difficult times.
Vale Jack Mundey
Covid-19: Shelter NSW response
In light of the outbreak of Covid-19 and the global health and economic crises, Shelter NSW has put in place contingency measures to continue operations while meeting physical distancing requirements.
Our staff are now working remotely where we will monitor and respond to policy developments as the COVID-19 crises unfold.
To contact our office please send us an email at email@example.com. For more urgent matters or media enquiries, please contact our CEO John Engeler on 0410 402 212. The full list of staff contact details can be found here.
For assistance with accommodation, please click here.
Clear, up-to-date information on the current legal rights and protections in place for renters is available on the Tenants Union website, or in this FAQ put together by Marrickville Legal Centre.
We encourage everyone to protect and support each other as we see this crisis through. A secure home has never been more important.
Stay safe and wash your hands,
The Shelter NSW team.
Tenants' Union NSW: Renters' Guide to COVID-19
Our colleagues at the Tenants' Union have prepared a helpful summary of the most commonly asked questions by renters about the impact of COVID-19 on housing and the rental market.
The Renters' Guide to COVID-19 has been developed to provide legal information about situations that may arise as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. It should be read alongside and in addition to the legal information and resources provided on your legal rights and obligations in our general tenancy fact sheets.
This guide is an excellent summary of the current restrictions, support measures, and legal protections that are relevant to renters in NSW, and is built on the TU's first-hand experience of the COVID-19 crisis' impact on vulnerable members of the community.
If you would like to contact the TU for tenancy advice or to access their other information, please visit their website at https://www.tenants.org.au/.
Shelter NSW appoints new Senior Policy Officer
Shelter NSW is pleased to welcome Cathryn Callaghan to the team as our new Senior Policy Officer, as of 28 April 2020.
Cathryn comes to us with recent experience as a Chief of Staff to a NSW MP & Shadow Minister located in the multicultural heart of south-western Sydney. Over a career spanning thirty years, Cathryn has held senior executive HR and change management roles especially in the telecommunications industry. Cathryn holds a Bachelor of Economics degree as well as a Master of Commerce (Organisational Behaviour) with personal interests in community engagement, social media, local government and sound public policy.
Cathryn has hit the ground running and is already working hard to ensure our advocacy is as effective and influential as possible.
Productivity Commission research paper on Vulnerable Private Renters
The Productivity Commission released a report on 25th September about vulnerable renters in the private rental market. It provides an overview of the private rental market and whether it is delivering good outcomes for renters and in particular vulnerable private renters.
You can access the report here.
There are two major findings from the report. First, Commonwealth Rent Assistance has been relatively effective in providing relief for lower income renters, but it has not kept pace with rents in the private rental market. Shelter NSW supports a reform of CRA in line with National Shelter policies.
Second, the Productivity Commission acknowledges the impact of 'no grounds' evictions and forced moves on vulnerable renters. It recommends reform of 'no-grounds' evictions in finding 5.3 to prohibit 'no-grounds' and provide longer eviction notices in cases when the tenant is not at fault, such as when the landlord is moving back in. Shelter NSW, along other policy and advocacy organisations since many years, is of the view that 'no grounds' evictions must be reformed to make renting fair. People who rent their homes should have access to a secure, safe, stable home and community. We are pleased to see the Productivity Commission research confirm this.
Shelter NSW will continue to engage with NSW Government, in particular as part of the Make Renting Fair campaign, to work towards reform of 'no grounds' evictions and a secure home for all.
"Many organisations have a clear history, being established on a particular date in a
specified location by a known group of people.
Not so for Shelter, or National Shelter.
Both organisations emerged gradually and informally,
as befit collectives formed by activists keen for change."
Champions of Change by Dr Tony Gilmour
Exhibition of Local Strategic Planning Statements: what does your Council have planned for Affordable Housing?
© 2019 - SHELTER NSW
ABN: 95 942 688 143
ABN: 95 942 688 143