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Jenny Leong, Greens MP - Letter To 2042 Locals

Dear 2042 Locals,

I’m Jenny Leong, the Greens MP for Newtown and your representative in the NSW Parliament.

Over the past year, I’ve heard countless stories from people in our community who are struggling to pay their rent, find an affordable share house to live in, or are sleeping in cars or on couches. Rents are rising four times faster than wages, evictions are on the rise, and too many renters are just one rent increase away from homelessness.

Jenny Leong, Greens MP for Newtown rally
With my Federal Greens colleagues Senator Mehreen Faruqi and Senator Janet Rice and community members calling for a rent freeze outside the Sydney hearing of the Senate Inquiry into the rental crisis

All sides of politics are finally acknowledging the harsh reality: NSW is in an unprecedented rental crisis. Unfortunately, this acknowledgment is yet to be followed by concrete action to actually address the crisis our communities are facing.

That’s why I have introduced a Bill in NSW Parliament that would freeze rents for two years and buy time to implement long-term solutions to help cool the overheated property market and get the cost of housing under control.

Jenny Leong at rent rally for Newtown
At our Renters Town Hall in Newtown with community activists and locals calling for action to strengthen renters’ rights

If the Minns NSW Labor Government is serious about supporting renters and alleviating the crushing cost of living pressures faced by the more than 30% of people across our state who rent (and over 55% in Newtown 2042!), they can support and pass our Bill when Parliament resumes in the next few weeks.

But, shamefully, they’ve so far refused to support a two-year rent freeze and are still dragging their feet on delivering their election promise to end unfair no grounds evictions. Without a freeze on skyrocketing rents and protection against eviction for no reason, renters across the state are exposed to the whims of a completely broken private rental market.

The scale and severity of the crisis needs to be matched by radical solutions that put people - and not profits - first.

In the past, Governments at all levels have shown that this kind of action is possible in the face of a crisis.

During the pandemic, the Federal Government doubled JobSeeker and lifted more than one million people out of poverty. In Victoria all rents were frozen and evictions banned for 6 months, while in NSW commercial rents were frozen and evictions also banned. And just last December, as energy bills began a steep climb, NSW Parliament was urgently recalled to pass laws to cap coal and gas prices.

Jenny Leong, Greens MP at Sydney Town Hall
Speaking at a rally for housing justice at Sydney Town Hall in September

The Greens know that a rent freeze alone won’t solve the crisis. It’s the start - not the end - of desperately needed reform to pull a handbrake on the runaway profits big investors and developers are reaping from the housing crisis and to make renting more secure and affordable.

Hitting pause on rents for two years now would allow the NSW Government to take considered, long-term measures to improve housing affordability across the state and ensure everyone has a secure, affordable place to live - regardless of whether they own their home.

These measures include massively investing in new public and social housing, implementing controls on short-term rentals that are driving down housing supply, and introducing mandatory inclusionary zoning so all private developments include genuinely affordable housing. They also extend to restoring and filling the more than 3,000 public housing dwellings that currently sit empty in NSW due to poor maintenance, and taxing property investors who choose to keep perfectly habitable homes empty in a housing crisis.

All these reforms will take time, ambition, and political will for genuine change: right now, what renters need is urgent action.

Will you join our campaign to freeze rents and demand NSW Parliament act to fix the rental crisis? Sign the petition by scanning the QR code or head to:

Yours sincerely,

Jenny Leong MP

Member for Newtown

Contact Jenny Leong at Parliament

P.S. - Whether or not you rent, if you’re concerned about a local issue or if our office can assist with a specific matter, don’t hesitate to get in touch by calling us on 9517 2800, emailing, or visiting our office at 383 King Street, Newtown.


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