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Federal and State Greens write to Housing Ministers to warn against “fig leaf” rental regulation or talk fests, and push for an urgent national rent freeze


Federal, state and territory Green housing spokespeople have joined forces to push all Housing Ministers to adopt a two-year rent freeze and ongoing caps nationwide, ahead of a National meeting of Housing Ministers today.

In an open letter to the Ministers the Greens say that to make a real difference to the housing crisis, rent caps should apply to the property not just to individual leases to ensure tenants don’t face eviction in order for landlords to raise rents.

With a Bill to be introduced to Federal Parliament next week that would double federal housing funding to states and territories who agree to implement a 2 year rent freeze followed by 2% rent caps and an end to no grounds evictions, the open letter encourages the federal Labor government to pass the bill and for their respective state and territory governments to adopt the changes. 

Following pressure from the Greens the Prime Minister and National Cabinet agreed to consider renter rights including rental caps and the Housing Ministers have been tasked with considering what measures can be taken.

Quote attributable to Australian Greens Housing spokesperson Max Chandler-Mather MP:

“Now that the Greens have pushed rent freezes and caps onto the National Cabinet agenda, we want to ensure any rent caps are meaningful and improve the lives of renters.”

“We have every single Greens housing spokesperson in the country ready and willing to work with their respective parliaments to introduce a 2 year freeze on rent increases and ongoing rent caps, so now the ball is firmly in Labor’s court. 

“Fiddling around the edges, as Queensland has done by limiting increases to unlimited annual hikes, is an absolute joke and will do nothing for renters. We need a freeze on rent increases and genuine ongoing rent caps attached to the property, not just the lease, to make sure tenants aren’t kicked out to jack up rents.”

“Rents have increased six times faster than wages in the last 12 months and if Labor doesn’t act now another 12 months of rent increases could say hundreds of thousands of families on the streets. 

“With wall to wall Labor governments on the mainland, Labor has no excuse not to implement a two year freeze on rent increases. 

“If they can find money for submarines and stadiums, they can find money to take the housing crisis seriously by freezing rent increases and building more public and affordable housing.

“Federal Labor could go to National Cabinet right now and offer every state and territory government billions of dollars extra in housing funding in exchange for a proper rent freeze, and every day they don’t do this dooms another family to an unfair rent hike and eviction.  

“Putting in place genuine rent caps and greater investment in public and affordable housing will go a long way to securing Greens support for Labor’s federal housing bill currently before the Senate.”

“Every week hundreds of Greens volunteers hit the streets in Labor electorates to knock on doors and talk about building public housing and a rent freeze, and we won’t stop campaigning until state and federal Labor MPs realise they either support our proposals or lose their seats at the next election.” 

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