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Motion: Housing affordability

Lee Rhiannon 15 Feb 2017

Thursday, 9 February 2017

Senator RHIANNON (New South Wales) (12:32): I, and also on behalf of Senator Cameron, move:

That the Senate—

(a) notes that:

   (i) the proportion of Australians leasing in the private rental housing market is the highest in over 50 years,

   (ii) long-run structural changes in Australia's housing system are leading to increasing numbers of households choosing to rent on a long-term and, in some cases, a permanent basis,

   (iii) comparative international studies, including a 2011 study by the Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute, show that tenancy laws administered by the Australian states and territories perform poorly in the provision of tenant protections against arbitrary eviction, excessive rent increases and allowing tenants the full enjoyment of their home,

   (iv) in the absence of affordable owner-occupied housing, life-long renting is now a prospect for many people, and

   (v) Australian tenancy laws may no longer be fit for purpose; and

(b) calls on the Government to work with the states, territories and relevant non-government organisations to set national minimum tenancy standards to ensure that tenants' rights are protected in relation to matters, including fairer processes around lease terminations and evictions, fair standards to govern the amounts by which rents can be increased, and provide for long-term residential leases that enable households the full enjoyment of a secure home.

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