Member for Blue Mountains Roza Sage has handed over a cheque for $97,000 to the Elizabeth Evatt Community Legal Centre in Katoomba as part of a program to help the most vulnerable tenants in NSW.
Minister for Fair Trading Anthony Roberts and the legal centre’s principal solicitor manager Dianne Hamey joined Mrs Sage at the centre for the announcement of the new funding allocation for the Tenants’ Advice and Advocacy Program (TAAP).
Mrs Sage said the NSW Government commitment to maintain the TAAP funding of over $9.3 million per year will provide vital services to tenants in the Blue Mountains.
“The NSW Government is continuing to fund not-for-profit organisations like the Elizabeth Evatt Centre at a time when other states are decreasing their support of similar services,” Mrs Sage said. “TAAP provides assistance and advocacy for social housing tenants or the vulnerable, as well as funding for resource services that provide specialist assistance to tenants and park residents, including consumer legal casework.”
Mrs Sage said the government was also expanding its range of services to assist tenants, landlords and agents.
“NSW Fair Trading will provide added support including telephone information services, an extended free dispute resolution service and education programs for the community and industry.
“Tenants, landlords and agents will benefit from the cost savings and convenience of accessing an alternative dispute resolution service to resolve a range of tenancy matters.”
Mr Roberts said the government called for funding applications in September 2013, with 28 applications received for the 19 NSW regions and two specialist resource services.
“By ensuring resources are distributed equitably, Fair Trading has been able to fund extra Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander support staff, one in Sydney and one in southern NSW,” he said. “Funding under the program started on 1 December 2013.”