Tenants Union ACT - Not for Sale!
The ACT Government has decided to put the Tenants' Union ACT out to tender. We must stop this vital not-for-profit community service from being sold off to the lowest bidder.
The Tenants' Union is the only independent, community run, specialist service for tenants in the ACT. The Tenants' Union was established 38 years ago by grassroots community members in Canberra for this sole purpose.
It has been funded since 1994 by the ACT Government to do its vital work supporting Canberra renters. In that time it has supported more than 50,000 people and their families.
It should not be defunded.
It’s ongoing funding should be increased so it can continue to provide quality services to the Canberra community and ensure its staff are paid properly.
The Tenants’ Union is not for sale!
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What is the Tenants' Union?
The Tenants’ Union (TU) is a not-for-profit grassroots organisation set up by local community members in 1981. It provides advice, support and representation to renters with tenancy issues in Canberra. It also advocates publicly to policy makers about better renters' rights and housing in the ACT.
The only source of funding for the TU is from the interest the ACT Government makes from holding onto renters’ bonds.
Since 1994, the TU has helped 50,000 people and their families. The TU provides an essential advice line, case work services and has assisted thousands more through community legal education workshops, presentations, and online resources.
The number of people renting in Canberra has increased by 150% in the past ten years but funding for the TU has only increased by 30%. The ACT Government is holding on to more bond money than ever before, but has not passed it on to the service that has been there for Canberra’s renters for 38 years.
Why is the Tenants' Union under threat?
Recently, the TU has been advocating for a small increase in funding to meet the rising costs of supporting Canberra’s renters. This is mainly to cover increases in the minimum pay rates for the community sector that the TU is obliged to pay to its dedicated, hardworking staff.
ACT Government has rejected the TU’s request for a modest increase in funding.
Instead of working with the TU and properly funding it to meet the growing need for their services, the ACT Government has rejected the TU’s request for a modest increase in funding and instead decided to sell off the service to the lowest bidder!
The TU is not-for-profit and operates on a very tight budget. No other service could do what they do for less money, unless they reduced support to Canberra renters or paid workers less than their legal minimum entitlements.
The ACT Government must reverse this decision! The Tenants’ Union must remain an independent organisation capable of advocating for Canberra’s renters.