Using stories and statistics to persuade
Why are stories important and how can we best use them to Make Renting Fair?
Stories are powerful. A story can make an issue more immediate and engaging for a listener or reader. It can also make a complex or distant issue more accessible and comprehensible by illustrating the human side to facts and figures. Most people find it easier to relate to other people rather than pure statistics or ideas. It can also be an empowering experience for a renter to tell their own story, especially where telling that story helps drive positive change.
So, how can we make use of stories?
We know as renters that NSW is in a rental crisis. We also know that there are some straightforward changes that should be made to NSW renting law to help alleviate the crisis. What we need is for the decision-makers in NSW Parliament to understand the human impact of our broken renting system, so that they will make these much-needed changes.
As a voter in their electorate, you have a good opportunity to secure a meeting with your local MP to share renting stories from your community. In this meeting you can share your own renting story, or a story from this site. This can help illustrate to your MP the human cost of failure to address the problems renters face.
Renting stories can also be shared with local media. This gets the story in front of members of the public in your local community, to keep the rental crisis in front of mind for members of the public. Other renters in your area may also identify with parts of the renting stories they are seeing shared in the media, and in turn be inclined to get involved in advocacy and campaigning.
Why are statistics and data important and how can we best use them to Make Renting Fair?
Statistics is what it means to prove something with data. Statistics are a tool to group relevant information and help make sense of it. We use them to identify, analyse and affect ideas and behaviour. Statistics can play an important role in advocacy and campaigning for social change.
Using statistics alongside our knowledge of our own experiences can help strengthen our case, by illustrating the broad scope of the problem and the numbers and data underpinning our stories.
On the Tenants' Union of NSW's State of the Renters tool, you can find renting data for each electorate in NSW, each Local Government Area in NSW, and NSW as a whole. The State of the Renters summaries have been created based on data from the 2021 census. Each State of the Renters sheet can help provide an overview of current rental housing in your area, as well as how things have changed for renters since the previous census in 2016.