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 implement the Rental Hardship Fund
Shelter NSW was delighted to see the NSW Parliament recently pass an amendment to create a last-resort, Rental Hardship Fund to assist tenants and landlords affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. The amendment passed through the NSW Legislative Chamber on 12 May, 2020.
We at Shelter NSW are now very disappointed and concerned to learn that the NSW Government has not commenced implementation of the hardship fund. Worse still, we understand the NSW Government is likely not going to proceed at all.
This is a backward step for the people of NSW – landlords and tenants alike.
Shelter NSW calls on the NSW Government to respect the ‘will of the Parliament’ and urgently implement the Rental Hardship Fund.
Our full statement can be found here.
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.
A better plan for supporting the construction industry – targeted & fair
Having tackled the public health crisis of COVID-19 NSW is now confronting a rapidly deteriorating economic environment. Lives have been saved but livelihoods have been lost. The June 3 Federal Government confirmation that Australia is in fact entering its first recession in 29 years highlights the severity of the economic shock.
Shelter NSW is deeply disappointed by the Federal Government’s announcement of their Homekeeper subsidy program and regrets that so many opportunities to support the many people who are struggling with unaffordable rents or mortgages or worse still, homelessness, have not been taken up. At the very least Shelter NSW would expect to see some kind of requirement that renovations or dwelling upgrades improve accessibility, energy-efficiency or reduce overcrowding.
Without and until substantial and targeted Federal Government funding is dedicated to increasing the stock of social and affordable housing there will be pressure on the NSW Government to step in to save jobs and support vulnerable people.
Shelter NSW calls the NSW Government to release funds from its $3 billion Infrastructure and Job Acceleration Fund to invest in critical social, affordable and specialist housing infrastructure.
This call is based on research commissioned by NCOSS, Homelessness NSW, Community Housing Industry Association and the Tenants’ Union of NSW. The full Equity Economics Report can be found here.
You can view our official media release here.
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.
For up-to-date information from the Department of Communities & Justice regarding their response to the pandemic, and the current services they offer that may be helpful, please visit their website.
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/.
"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