Ballina MP, Tamara Smith, has committed to introducing legislation on short-term holiday letting (STHL) within the first 100 days of the next NSW parliament if she is re-elected.
The proposal for non-hosted STHL includes: development applications STHL to operate, a bed tax to fund local services, a requirement for STHL rentals to be used as emergency accommodation during natural disasters, giving local councils planning powers over how STHL operates in their area, and stopping the short-term letting of houses built after 1 January 2018 in an LGA until the vacancy rate hits three per cent.
The policy was launched yesterday at Lions Park in Lennox Head.
‘Our region has been the belly of the beast for the disastrous impacts of Short Term Holiday Letting but now it’s adding fuel to the rental crisis across the entire state,’ said Tamara Smith.
‘In 2019 we received a commitment from the Berejiklian Government to cap STHL in Byron. At that time the Northern Rivers had a shortage of 15,000 social and affordable homes. Now it is far worse and nothing has changed.
‘STHL has removed thousands of homes across the Northern Rivers from the rental market, leaving residents homeless, workers unable to afford accommodation, and people who have grown up here forced out of the region altogether. Something has to change,’ said Ms Smith.
‘We need homes, not Short Term Holiday Letting.
Treat it as a business
‘STHL is a business and it’s time to treat it like a business. This policy would end STHLs dominance over communities across NSW. By giving regulatory powers to councils, each community can deal with the impacts of STHL in the way that best works for them.’
Cate Faehrmann, NSW Greens MP, planning spokesperson and lead upper house candidate said, ‘If the gGovernment claims it will solve this housing crisis by building new houses then it needs to make sure those houses become homes and not holiday rentals. Freeing up new housing for rentals instead of STHL will help take some of the heat out of the rental crisis.
‘Short-term holiday letting makes big profits off the backs of communities while giving little in return. Giving councils the ability to set a bed tax on STHL will allow councils in high tourism areas like Byron Bay the ability to maintain their local services and invest in local housing.’
Ms Smith emphasised that communities must be out before tourists, especially during natural disasters.
‘I’ll be introducing legislation to implement our plan to regulate short-term holiday letting within the first 100 days of the next Parliament. I’m calling on Chris Minns and Dominic Perrottet to commit to supporting it and stop STHL adding fuel to the fire of the housing crisis ,’ she said.
It’s a bit late!
She could have done this anytime in the last 3 years.
So, why didn’t she?
To be fair – Wile flagrantly breached, Holliday Letting in residential zones was unlawful until this years State Govts recent changes to legislation to decriminalse it