The Western Sydney Tenants’ Service (WESTS) is a community program of the Western Sydney Community Legal Centre.
We marked our ten-year anniversary in 2018 and have been going stronger ever since. We are extremely proud of our service to the community of Western Sydney over the past 13 years. We cannot express enough appreciation to our stakeholders and volunteers for their wonderful contribution to WESTS since our inception.
Currently, there are six tenants’ advocates and two information and referral officers in our close-knit and diverse team who provide the tenants of Western Sydney with advice, advocacy, representation at the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal, and referrals to critical community services. Our tenant advocates have assisted thousands of tenants with social housing, residential parks, and private lease matters. They have spread awareness of the rights and obligations stemming from the Residential Tenancies Act 2010 and other legislation applicable to tenants, and they have engaged in community education sessions with other social and community service providers who service renters. With Parramatta becoming the second city of New South Wales and the expansion of Western Sydney, there is an ever-growing population of tenants who require our assistance in navigating the law and any changes to it. Our service covers a catchment of over 250 suburbs!
During the unprecedented times from January 2020 to March 2021, WESTS have assisted in 10,000+ advice, referral, case management, etc. sessions.
And now, in the year 2021, WESTS aspires to continue to assist clients with advice over the phone, or face-to-face, engage in non-tribunal advocacy to achieve settlement outside a dispute forum and partake in the duty advocacy to ease the stress that comes from navigating the formal procedures of the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal.
WESTS believes in social justice for all tenants, and advocates for legislative changes that would promote the fundamental right to housing, and the security thereof, as for many tenants, this is not merely a house, but their home.