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Greens call for national tenancy standards amidst escalating rental affordability crisis

Lines attributable to Max-Chandler Mather MP, Greens spokesperson for Housing and Homelessness:

Today we’re calling on the Prime Minister to urgently convene a national cabinet meeting with an aim to begin discussions on desperately needed national tenancy standards that include a freeze on rent increases and an end to no grounds evictions. 

While the Government contemplates much needed intervention in the energy market because of out of control price increases, it’s abundantly clear the rental market needs the same type of intervention. 

New figures released by National Shelter today show Australia’s housing crisis is reaching disastrous levels, with rental affordability reaching record lows in a number of capital cities and regional areas. 

This report today makes clear people are suffering, so another two years of rent rises while wages stagnate could see Australia lurch into a major social crisis.

Australia desperately needs national tenancy standards that include an emergency two year freeze on rent increases, followed by ongoing rent caps and end to no grounds evictions.

It’s no wonder we’ve seen families living in cars and tents, when renting in cities around Australia is severely unaffordable for those on Jobseeker, single pensioners and single parents working part-time, with rents surging over 60% of income in many cities. 

It’s appalling to see that around Australia 58% of low income households who rent privately are in rental stress, paying more than 30% of their income in rent. 

We just saw a Federal Budget that includes $157 billion in tax concessions for property investors through negative gearing and capital gains discounts, and nothing for renters.

Millions of Australians are struggling to pay the rent and it’s only getting worse - it’s time for the Government to intervene and give renters some immediate relief.

The Greens are calling for National Tenancy Standards, including a ban on no-grounds eviction and a two-year rent freeze, to protect renters from eviction into homelessness because they can’t afford out of control rents.

Research shows that despite scare campaigns from the real estate industry, strengthening tenancy laws does not drive landlords out of the market. 

Our current tenancy laws are heavily skewed in favour of landlords, resulting in a housing market that treats renters as second class citizens. We need national tenancy standards that prioritise renters rights to a stable and affordable home over property investor profits.

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