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Byron Shire
June 18, 2024

Housing: too important to leave to private market

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It saddens me every time I get to the back of The Echo and see all the real estate ads, so I was mortified to see the whole mini magazine of Property inside my Echo a couple of weeks ago. We all know that locals can’t afford these properties. Who in Mullumbimby can afford a million-dollar mortgage on small town wages?

There were articles written about how investment properties are so hot right now and how getting in on the action is a smart move. Yuk. It feels like our home is being pimped out. It seems hypocritical that we can read endless criticisms for a mayor that supports the Wallum development, when in just years from now that same Wallum development will probably feature in one of The Echo’s property mags, paying their wages with advertising dollars.

We need to get real if we want to save our town from being swallowed up by greed. Houses should not be used as investments. They are not pieces of gold. They should not sit empty or be used as holiday lets while so many sleep in their cars.

They are structures for providing shelter, and they are needed now more than ever. If you build more they will just get swallowed up by the greedy rich. Laws need to change around housing. Echo, you are our voice. Please use it for us and not to benefit the parasites.

Sheri Buob, Mullumbimby

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  1. Yes, Echo please remove your adds from the paper then you walk the walk not just talk the talk, you are just part of the problem as long as you have your $$$ coming in from the real estate adds

  2. And part of the big sell was about how the Echo reaches “an engaged and affluent audience”.

    Ironic isn’t it? Not that a business seeks to promote itself and make a profit. – just combined with all the smug self-righteousness found in the editorial stance.

  3. A few points. Plainly if someone does not invest in housing you won’t get any built, and the price will rise further. The public investment the Greens tout is not a viable solution. For a given outcome in terms of numbers of rooms built it’s a much more expensive way to build housing ,and without any sense of ownership the properties are more expensive to maintain and usually poorly maintained. It’s widely used in Europe and it has not prevented homelessness .
    The other point to note is that even with tax breaks the higher income individuals who buy expensive properties pay far more tax and rates than other Australians. Far from being parasites they provide the bulk of rental housing. But the recent Praxis report on housing affordability showed the average length of ownership of a rental property is only about seven years. Higher than anticipated costs, difficult tenants, and low returns were common reasons landlords sell property and when they sell affordable properties they are commonly refurbished and rented out or sold to higher income people. I would add that the widespread abuse of landlords is another disincentive driving disinvestment in affordable housing. You can see the sad outcome living on the streets.


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