Council calls for bed levy to address housing affordability

Published Date
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Planning & Development, Council
airbnb properties from Coogee to the City could soon be paying a small levy to fund affordable housing

Properties let through short rental websites like airbnb and Stayz could be hit with a fee under a Randwick Council proposal being put to the NSW State Government to increase investment in affordable housing.

Randwick Councillors resolved at their meeting last night, 28 February 2023, to write to the NSW Minister for Planning and Homes advocating for a bed levy or similar scheme.

There are currently more than 1,100 short term rental properties in the Randwick LGA which equates to almost two per cent of the dwelling stock. But in the suburbs of Clovelly, Coogee, Kensington and Kingsford in the north of Randwick City where this is high demand for housing, it equates to 4.4 per cent of the total dwelling stock.

“The reality is we are in the middle of a housing crisis with rentals disappearing and affordable homes for purchase near non-existent,” Mayor Dylan Parker said.

“Everyone supports tourism and the benefits it brings but it is a question of balancing priorities especially in residential areas.

“In December 2022, there were 1,100 un-hosted properties in the Randwick LGA otherwise lost from the rental or purchase market while young people, nurses and teachers queued around the block at inspections and families slept in cars.

“A modest levy reinvested into affordable housing to off-set the downsides of short-term letting won’t change the sad fact the housing market is broken but it’s start.”

Auckland Council introduced a similar scheme based on the number of booked nights and the location of the property, while City of Hobart Council is considering preventing new short term rental accommodation approvals in certain residential areas.

Last Updated: 1 March 2023
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