The Victorian Greens have launched their plan to overhaul the regulation of short-stays in Victoria, in a bid to help address the state’s housing crisis.
Affordable accommodation has been a big issue for Hepburn Shire. Local businesses have been unable to attract workers because of the lack of accommodation. Local residents in rental accommodation have been driven out by increasing rental costs because property owners are chasing the holiday market.
The current weak regulations allow Victorians with multiple properties to rent out their secondary homes as short-stays for holidaymakers – through third party services like Airbnb – for as little or as long as they like.
Rural and regional communities report not having enough rental housing stock for local families as well as workers that have moved into an area to work in local businesses.
This has reduced the capacity of local economies to recover from the pandemic because of worker shortages and has plunged many families into housing stress or crisis.
With regional rents at record levels and available rental stock down as much as 40% from last year, more needs to be done to increase housing supply including by better regulating short stay accommodation so that every other home is not turned into a mini-hotel.
The Greens are proposing:
- A cap of 180 nights a year that Victorians can rent out a property as a short-stay.
- Allowing owners’ corporations to regulate short-stays for properties that are not a host’s principal residence in their building.
- Setting up a mandatory register of short-stay operators.
Leader of the Victorian Greens, Samantha Ratnam, launched the election policy in Ballarat. “Victoria is in a housing crisis and rural and regional communities especially are facing a dire shortage of rental accommodation,” she said. “Yet Victoria has some of the weakest regulations of short-stay accommodation that effectively turns holiday homes into mini-hotels at the cost of a family or worker having access to secure rental properties.
“By overhauling our short-stay regulations we can ensure more housing is available to families and workers experiencing housing stress. This would help boost local economies especially in the regions and reduce the number of Victorians facing housing insecurity and homelessness.”