Council Poses Limiting Short-Stays In Residential Areas To Ease Hobarts Rental Crisis
The Hobart Council is copping significant backlash over a push to stop more local houses being turned into short-stay accommodation.
The cities Planning Committee on Monday is putting forward a proposal to amend the Planning Scheme, to limit the number of short stays in residential areas.
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Committee chairwoman Helen Burnet said the move would stem the flow of long-term houses into the short-stay sector.
“We know there is a shortage of houses going up for market because of short-stay visitor accommodation, among other reasons,” Ms Burnet said.
“This could make a huge difference by now allowing that leakage for more houses to disappear off the rental market.”
- Ms Burnet
Despite opposition from Airbnb owners and businesses amid potential harm to Tasmania’s tourism sector and property owner rights, the proposal has received overwhelming support from social advocacy groups who believe short stays are pushing affordable rental properties out of the market for locals.
But in a statement, Airbnb public policy manager Michael Crosby voiced his opposition to the Planning Scheme amendment, according to The Mercury.
“We stress that the influence of Airbnb’s community of hosts and guests are infinitesimal when compared to the other many factors that impact the broader housing market in Australia.
“Crucially, Airbnb notes that the council’s proposal is extremely unlikely to have a substantive impact on the availability of affordable rental housing in the City of Hobart,” the statement said.
Meanwhile, Hobart Lord Mayor Anna Reynolds says a more even flow into the short-stay market needs addressing.
“Our density of tourist accommodation is off the charts compared to other capital cities. Urgent and responsible action is needed to rebalance and repair our private rental market.”
- Cr Reynolds
If the amendments are approved by council, the proposal will then go before the Tasmanian Planning Commission for further evaluation.
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