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  • Writer's pictureThe Beagle

Airbnbs to be slugged: Will this be adopted in Eurobodalla

Judy Skatssoon of Government News reports: Brisbane home owners who put their properties on Airbnb for more than two months a year will be slugged with higher rates in a bid by Brisbane City Council to free up the long-term rental market.

Brisbane Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner unveiled the measure in his Budget speech last week.

Council was taking control of the levers at its disposal to address the city’s housing crisis, he said, and short-term rentals were one area with “a pressing need for intervention”.

“With the rental vacancy rate now at record lows, it’s incredibly hard for tenants to find affordable places to live with six or twelve month leases,” Cr Schrinner told a meeting of Council last Wednesday.

“The short-term rental trend, facilitated by well-known booking apps, removes homes from the long-term rental market. To be clear – this contributes to supply shortages and increasing housing costs.”

New category for transitory accommodation

While the boom in short-term accommodation had benefits for tourism, is was increasing compliance costs for Council, Cr Shrinner said.

It also created an uneven playing field and jeopardised investment in purpose-built short-term accommodation like hotels as Brisbane geared up to host the 2032 Olympics.

Council will introduce a new rating category for transitory accommodation which will mean owners pay 50 per cent higher rates than equivalent non-owner-occupied residential properties, making them more in line with commercial rates.

“For a property on the minimum rating level, that will work out to be almost $600 extra a year,” Cr Schrinner said.

Properties listed for short-term rental for more than 60 days a year will be subject to the new rates regime.

It is my hope, instead of paying extra, many owners of short-term rentals will now be motivated to put their homes and apartments into the longer-term rental market. Brisbane Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner

People with a short term rental property can ‘self-identify’ next month from next month and members of the public are encouraged to dob in properties that are being used for this purpose. Council will also scour online sites to identify listed properties.

The measure will be progressively rolled out across Brisbane, Cr Schrinner said.

“Residential streets were not meant to be home to pseudo hotels, with different tenants coming and going every weekend,” he said.

“It is my hope, instead of paying extra, many owners of short-term rentals will now be motivated to put their homes and apartments into the longer-term rental market.”

NSW budget targets housing

It comes as NSW Treasurer Dominic Perrottet announced the state budget, to be handed down on Tuesday 21, would contain a $500 million investment in housing including $300 million to co-fund and accelerate the delivery of shovel-ready local government infrastructure projects.

“We know one of the biggest constraints on housing supply is a lack of supporting infrastructure like water, roads, sewers and parks,” Mr Perrottet said.

“So we are rolling out a $300 million investment to help councils deliver the projects that help grow our communities.”

The budget measure also includes:

  • $89 million for faster planning assessments;

  • $69.8 million to accelerate the rezoning of key housing precincts in Sydney and regional areas

  • $33.8 million to create a 10-year regional housing supply pipeline

  • $3.8 million for ‘call-in’ teams for accelerated council led rezonings.

Meanwhile, in NSW the government has been accused of sidelining social housing in its commitment, announced announced ahead of Tuesday’s state budget, to invest $500 million in unlocking land and accelerating housing infrastructure across the State.

“The Government’s announcements focus solely on home ownership and infrastructure and ignores those struggling to just keep a roof over their heads,” said Caitlin McDowell, Head of Policy at CHIA NSW.

Ms McDowell said that she hoped the State Budget would include a significant allocation of resources to substantially increase the supply of social housing

That included $200 million per annum for the next two years to deliver social housing in Greater Sydney, Wollongong, and the Central Coast through the Community Housing Innovation Fund and a $500 million investment in a regional housing program to deliver social and affordable homes in the regions, delivered in partnership with non-profit community housing providers.

When asked by ACM in May 2022 they reported "Airbnb Australia was unable to provide data regarding available rentals in the Shoalhaven or Eurobodalla, or whether the number of properties available through the site in the shires was increasing. They also declined to comment on occupancy levels of properties listed through the site throughout the year." In 2021 the NSW Government changed the short term rental accommodation (STRA) legislation so regional council's were given the option to enforce a 180-days-per-yer cap on non-hosted (where the host does not live on site) STRA.

Eurobodalla Mayor Mathew Hatcher says action is needed by all levels of government to ease the shire’s housing crisis, and he’s starting locally. Could that local action include imposing a penalty on anyone who dares leave their furnished holiday home vacant or uses their furnished holiday home as a means to cover the rates, loans and possibly contribute to ever diminishing incomes? It will be interesting to watch what happens in Brisbane.


NOTE: Comments were TRIALED - in the end it failed as humans will be humans and it turned into a pile of merde; only contributed to by just a handful who did little to add to the conversation of the issue at hand. Anyone who would like to contribute an opinion are encouraged to send in a Letter to the Editor where it might be considered for publication

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