For media enquiries, please contact our Executive Officer, Adrian Pisarski, on 0417 975 270 or email: 

TAAS services saved by federal minister

National Shelter media release — 3 October 2012

National Shelter congratulates the federal government for providing 3.3 million dollars to enable the Tenants’ Advice and Advocacy Service to continue in Queensland.

In a statement today the Gillard Government announced they will provide emergency funding for the Queensland TAAS until June 2013.

The tenants’ services would otherwise have closed this month, after their funding had been cut by the state government in July.

Chairperson of National Shelter, Adrian Pisarski, is pleased to see the federal government take the lead to restore funding cut by the Newman government.

‘These services save the governments more than they cost, and we have always maintained that cutting these services was a short-sighted decision.’

Mr Pisarski also said that TAASQ is vital in preventing homelessness and maintaining households in their current rental property.

‘Tenancy advice services help 70,000 households per year to negotiate the private rental market’, Mr Pisarski said.

‘It stops people becoming homeless, and it keeps people off public housing wait lists.’

National Shelter is hopeful that this move by the federal government secures the long-term future of tenancy advice services.



Renters miss out again! — in Reserve Bank interest cuts

National Shelter media release — 3 October 2012

National housing peak National Shelter says the greatest housing stress is experienced by renters who will not directly benefit from interest rate cuts.

Announcing its lowest cash rate since 2009, the Reserve Bank of Australia yesterday cut its interest rate by 0.25 per cent to 3.25 per cent.

National Shelter Chairperson, Adrian Pisarski, said that while first-home buyers and investors can breathe a sigh of relief, many renters will continue living in housing stress.

‘We welcome the rate cuts as a boost to the housing market, and look forward to the reinvigoration of Australia’s building industry’, Mr Pisarski said.

‘However we are concerned that renters, who make up the majority of those in housing stress, are missing out on the chosen initiatives to reduce the cost of housing in Australia.’

‘Lower interest rates might move some frustrated purchasers out of rent and help ease vacancy rates, but they do nothing to take pressure from rent prices because of low supply.’

National Shelter believes it is time to inject more investment into affordable housing programs, such as a growth fund for public housing and doubling the National Rental Affordability Scheme (NRAS).

‘Currently Australia’s supply of affordable housing is stagnant. We need to help renters by supporting programs that assist tenants to sustain residencies and decrease pressure in the private market’.

‘A growth fund will help address this supply through greater investment in social housing, while NRAS provides a sustainable solution beneficial to both renters and private investors’.

For more information on National Shelter’s policies, please see the National Shelter policy platform ‘Meeting housing challenges’ at

Adrian Pisarski, Chairperson: tel: (07) 3831 5900, 0417 975 270; email:

Joanna Carson, Communications Officer: 0418 718 584: email:


Report proves we need more affordable housing

National Shelter media release —14 August 2012

National Shelter is concerned but not surprised at the latest ACOSS community sector survey report findings, and calls for more investment in affordable housing in response.

The report, released today, shows that what disadvantaged and low income Australians need most is housing:

  • Nearly 3 in 5 respondents listed housing among ‘high need' services of clients.
  • 81% say they cannot meet demand for their services.
  • 63% of respondents said waiting times for their service have increased.
  • There were 303,713 instances of service provision, but 20,496 instances (8%) of people turned away or 56 people turned away each day from services responding to the survey.

Chairperson of National Shelter, Adrian Pisarski, said the results highlight the need for ongoing investment in affordable housing programs:

'This is not news to the community sector: many services, including welfare services, report housing shortages as their greatest challenge.'

'But this survey confirms the figures that show up to one million households are in housing stress.'

'Commonwealth and state governments need to build on the past five years of investment by continuing their commitment to programs like the National Rental Affordability Scheme.'

National Shelter also believes this report demonstrates the reason why the Queensland Government should reinstate funding for tenancy services.

'Queensland has the highest rate of rental stress. Considering the ACOSS report shows housing is an issue in all states, the Newman government needs to act on this issue, fast.'

Adrian Pisarski, Chairperson: tel: (07) 3831 5900, 0417 975 270; email:

Joanna Carson, Communications Officer: 0418 718 584: email:

National Shelter backs call for housing supply bonds

National Shelter media release — 31 May 2012

National Shelter, the peak council for affordable housing policy, has backed calls for an Affordable Housing Bond to galvanise institutional investment.

According to National Shelter, an instrument to secure investments is the missing link in the affordable housing picture.

Chairperson of National Shelter, Adrian Pisarski, supports the Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute (AHURI) assessment of $7 billion annual investment required:

‘Despite heroic government investment recently, we are still losing social housing market share and governments alone may never be able to finance the required investment.’

‘The current tax arrangements favour individual investors over institutions, but only institutions can provide the scale required.’

‘We have trillions of dollars of Australian super not being used to fix our own housing shortage; this proposal is a vital element.’

The bond proposal, referred to today in the Australian Financial Review, adds value to the current reform agenda utilising not-for-profits to develop a range of housing types.

These include the National Rental Affordability Scheme and capital from the social housing stimulus investment, to transform a broken public housing system.

‘We need to return our affordable housing sector to a viable footing and let loose the creativity and vigour of the NFP sector and solve this massive problem.’

We receive calls daily from those failed by the market yet not able to secure property in the public system, and we will all suffer the cost in the long run if this issue remains unresolved.

‘Institutional investment, continued government investment and system reform are required urgently to offer hope to the hundreds of thousands on wait lists or impoverished by crippling rent.’

Adrian Pisarski, Chairperson: tel: (07) 3831 5900, 0417 975 270; email:

Joanna Carson, Communications Officer: 0418 718 584: email:


Housing stays in Cabinet where it belongs

National Shelter media release  — 2 March 2012  

Housing Peak National Shelter would like to welcome the Honourable Brendan O’Connor MP as the new Minister for Small Business and the Minister for Housing and Homelessness.

Chairperson of National Shelter, Adrian Pisarski, welcomed the retention of a minister for housing in the Cabinet.

‘We are pleased that Housing and Homelessness has been retained in Cabinet as the issues require a high level government focus.’

‘It is encouraging to see that National Shelter’s long-held position, which is that housing belongs in the Cabinet, is also the view of the federal government.

‘We look forward to working with Minister O’Connor to tackle Australia’s affordable housing and homelessness challenges.’

Adrian Pisarski, Chairperson: tel: (07) 3831 5900, 0417 975 270; email:

Joanna Carson, Communications Officer: 0418 718 584: email: