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Airbnb levy needed to help solve homelessness crisis

Homelessness NSW 2 mins read

Media release | Tuesday, 19 March 2024

Dozens of homelessness and community organisations are urging the NSW government to at least match Victoria’s levy on short-term rentals to fund stretched frontline services.

Homelessness NSW CEO Dom Rowe – backed by more than 60 organisations including youth homelessness peak Yfoundations, Wesley Mission and St Vincent De Paul Society – wants a levy of at least 7.5 per cent coupled with tighter regulation of short-term rentals.

This includes increasing fees for registering a short-term rental, and having targeted and region-specific caps on the number of days each year a property can be let on Airbnb-style platforms.

“At a time when homelessness is soaring and one in ten homes are sitting vacant, NSW must be at least as ambitious as Victoria when it comes to levies on short-term accommodation,” Ms Rowe said.

“The money raised through this levy must be poured into underfunded and overflowing frontline services that need $128 million over two years to meet demand.

“Every dwelling that’s let as short-term rental accommodation is one less available to provide safe and stable housing year-round. 

“The lack of long-term housing supply has created a nightmare for renters who are increasingly turning to homelessness services, many for the first time, because they cannot find a place to call home.

“Tragically, half of those people who need accommodation can’t get the help they need because services are at breaking point, including women and children fleeing violence.

“Rental affordability is at a 17-year low, with NSW the least affordable state where virtually no home is affordable for people on low incomes.

“Holiday hotspots such as Byron Bay, Shoalhaven and the Snowy Monaro – with soaring rates of homelessness – are really feeling the effects of short-term accommodation on their housing markets.

“Capping the number of days that a dwelling could be used for short-term accommodation each year, like Byron Shire has done, would boost long-term housing and take the pressure off soaring rents. 

“The funds raised must be used to solve the housing and homelessness crisis that short-term rental accommodation has made worse.”

Local government areas with the highest concentration of short-term rental accommodation

 

LGA

STRA (where host doesn’t reside)

STRA as % of private dwellings

# SHS clients

Homeless rate per 10,000

Byron

1,259

8%

200

70

Snowy Monaro

771

7%

400

57

Shoalhaven

3,418

6%

1,431

39

Kiama

612

6%

49

43

Eurobodalla

1,074

5%

669

28

Kempsey 

570

4%

991

60

Port Stephens

1,472

4%

1,040

25

Waverley

1,217

4%

214

54

Bega Valley

654

4%

659

42

Mid-Coast

1,608

3%

872

31


Contact details:

Georgie Moore 
0477 779 928

Charlie Moore
0452 606 171

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