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Greens welcome call from 80 housing organisations for rent caps and stronger renters' rights

The Greens have warmly welcomed the 80 housing organisations who have today joined forces to join the Greens call for national rent caps and renters' rights.

Devastating data released by Homelessness Australia today shows the brutal realities of unlimited rental increases in this country. From December to March over 220,000 people sought support from homelessness services because of eviction, housing unaffordability, financial stress, housing crisis and inappropriate housing. 

With National Cabinet considering a plan to harmonise national renters rights and rent caps, the Greens are pushing for the Prime Minister to offer federal funding to the states to incentivise a series of national reforms including: 

  • A two-year freeze on rent increases
  • Cap rent increases following any rent freeze, limiting the amount and the frequency of future increases
  • Attach any rent control to the property, not the lease, to ensure there is no incentive for a landlord to evict a tenant
  • An end to no-grounds evictions, where a landlord may only decline to renew a lease if they wish to take up residence in the property, there is an unremedied breach of lease agreement or there are major renovations
  • Giving renters a right to request "European-style", long-term leases
  • Establishing public authorities to enforce improved minimum standards for rental properties

The Greens have said they will pass the Housing Australia Future Fund bill in October if the Prime Minister coordinates these reforms at National Cabinet and commits to investing $2.5 billion in public housing. 

Lines attributable to Max Chandler-Mather 

"Rents are increasing at the fastest rate in 35 years, millions of renters are crying out for support, 60% of Australians support a rent freeze, and now 80 housing organisations have joined the Greens call for national rent caps and renters rights, it’s well past time for the Prime Minister to act. 

"We are at a remarkable moment in Australian history, where Labor holds a super majority on National Cabinet, with unprecedented national support for national rent caps and a vicious rental crisis destroying lives. It would be unfathomable if the Prime Minister didn’t seize this chance to take action for renters.

"I understand the Prime Minister might not like the Greens, but he needs to realise this is about the single mums one rent increase away from eviction. This is about the over 220,000 people who from December 2022 to March this year who tried to access homelessness services because they could no longer afford their rent or were evicted.

"The Prime Minister needs to recognise his job is to act in the national interest and finally take leadership and coordinate national rent caps and renters rights, rather than pursue petty vendettas against the Greens.

"The question for the Prime Minister is, does he want this national rental crisis to be his “I don’t hold a hose” moment, or will he finally take leadership at National Cabinet the same way he did to put a cap on energy prices. 

"Every person evicted out of their rental because they can’t afford the rent increase, is another person that may join the growing queues for public housing, so unless we cap rents, tackling the housing crisis will be almost impossible."

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