Published: July 2023

Brian Howe backs our fairness formula for rents

Former Deputy PM offers punchy views on rental housing policy

In case you missed it, the former Deputy Prime Minister and influential social policy thinker Brian Howe has shared some punchy views about rental housing policy in an opinion piece for Guardian Australia. Here at Tenants Victoria, we were pleased to see he believes that ‘there is a sound case to investigate some form of intervention in the private rental market which is clearly failing too many renters’.

And, he writes:

‘A measure to regulate rental increases that I think deserves attention and has been advocated for by Tenants Victoria in my home state, is limiting rent increases in the private rental market to a legislated “fairness formula”. This would provide a method of calculating rent that would be fair to both the landlord and renter — and ensure more certainty rather than the price hikes that tenants on low and even middle incomes are finding unsustainable.

Annual rent increases that are orderly and transparent, perhaps in line with an index such as the consumer price index (as currently happens in the ACT) or average weekly earnings, could materially assist in alleviating rental stress as part of a broader package of measures.’

Check out Brian Howe’s views on the state of rental housing in the early 21st century.

Melbourne-based Brian Howe was Australia’s 20th federal housing minister and was deputy to Bob Hawke and then Paul Keating from 1991 to 1995. His ministerial portfolios included social security, health and community services and his initiatives spanned from introducing child support to establishing the Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute (AHURI) as part of a research-based ‘National Housing Strategy’.

Our Director of Community Engagement Farah Farouque spoke in the week of the Victorian budget on ABC Melbourne Mornings with Virginia Trioli about why we are calling for a fairness formula to regulate the amount of rent increases.

Listen to the interview

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