Delivering on the Premier’s promise of fair tenancy laws for 1.5 million Victorians

Dear Minister Foley,

Last October, the Victorian Government made promises to the community that you would pass legislation to ‘make renting fair’ in Victoria. The headline announcements were good and we welcomed them at the time.

We understand that this legislation might be introduced in the next few sitting weeks and we have concerns that there has been no consultation about the specific detail of these legislative proposals.

These reforms are of particular concern to older Victorians who are the fastest growing group of renters in our state. Older renters are particularly vulnerable because their chances of moving from renting into home ownership are minimal to non-existent for the vast majority. They will continue to rely on the rental market. They suffer disproportionately from the negative health effects of insecure tenure, substandard properties and housing stress.

We are writing to urge you to make sure of two things. The first is that these reforms must be introduced to parliament without further delay to give them any chance of passing before the election. The second is to make sure that they don’t undermine the safety and security of older Victorians.

Attached to this letter is the Fair Renting Scorecard developed by the Make Renting Fair Campaign, which HAAG supports. The big-ticket reform items have been assessed in terms of fairness and impact.

If these reforms miss the mark, we could easily see consumer protections weakened. If this happens, vulnerable tenants will be the ones hit hardest, including the people we work with and support each day, and more older people will face the risk and reality of homelessness. That will be both a wasted opportunity for positive change and a step back for vulnerable Victorians.

Please exercise your influence to help ensure strong positive reforms are introduced into parliament without further delay.

Yours sincerely,

Phyll Williams
Housing for the Aged Action Group

A National Day of Action to Make Renting Fair is planned on July 11th.

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