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Fighting For Safe Housing

Fighting For Safe Housing

By Damian Stock


The Residential Tenancies Act 1997 requires landlords to maintain rental properties in good repair. Victoria Legal Aid and a brave client used a combination of litigation, submissions and joint advocacy to clarify and extend the right to safe housing. Pursuing law reform is critical for Victoria Legal Aid (VLA) to fulfil its statutory objectives. These objectives are enshrined in legislation in recognition that strategic advocacy has the power to address the root causes of legal problems to bring about wider systemic and community change, and not just the improvement in the situation of the individual. It encompasses strategic litigation, responsive evidence-based submission writing, and engagement with stakeholders and the community. Increasingly strategic advocacy requires the use of traditional and social media to engage the community in holding public power or private interests to account.

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