Cassy O’Connor MP | Greens Leader
The Greens know that Parliament needs to tackle the housing crisis head on, not only by government belatedly driving the construction of new homes, but by better protecting renters. That’s why we tabled the Residential Tenancy (Rental Market Reform) Amendment Bill 2021 in Parliament today.
Our Bill amends the Residential Tenancy Act 1997 to control rent increases, implement minimum energy efficiency standards, make better allowance for pets and prohibit no-cause evictions.
During the COVID emergency period, Tasmania’s Parliament demonstrated it is possible to ensure no-one is left behind. The Greens ensured the COVID legislation provided for a prohibition on rent increases and evictions throughout the emergency period.
Since the end of those protections on 1 February this year, many Tasmanian tenants received sharp, unaffordable rent increases. In the last week of the previous Parliament, we moved to institute rent controls, mirroring the ACT model, but only the Greens voted for that legislation.
Access to secure, affordable housing is a fundamental human right. In a healthy economy, no one should ever be left out in the cold. Yet, more than 4000 people are currently languishing on the housing wait list – the highest level in more than a decade.
In Tasmania under the Liberals, weak tenancy laws, the undersupply of affordable housing, underinvestment in public housing and failure to regulate short stay accommodation over the past seven years have driven people into housing insecurity, homelessness and poverty.
For tenants, soaring rents and the threat of eviction are causing deep housing insecurity and driving more people towards poverty. We can do much better by Tasmanian renters.
Our Bill creates a fair balance between renter and owner rights. We hope all MPs will see that, and support it when we bring it on for debate in the Spring session.
You can read our Bill here - https://tasmps.greens.org.au/bill/residential-tenancy-rental-market-reform