Independent Member for Clark, Andrew Wilkie, has called for the State Government and Hobart City Council to stop bickering about who is responsible and act to rein in short-stay accommodation, including Airbnb, to ease Hobart’s housing crisis.
Mr Wilkie has used a speech in Federal Parliament to call for Airbnb to be returned to its original model of locals renting out spare rooms or granny flats.
“Tasmania has some of the slackest regulations surrounding Airbnb. While many cities around the world are recognising the impact that Airbnb has on housing affordability and availability, the Tasmanian Government and Hobart City Council are bickering about whose responsibility it is to rectify the problem,” Mr Wilkie said. “Well, Deputy Speaker, someone needs to take responsibility. The community is crying out for reform to deliver stable, affordable and safe housing.”
Hobart remains the most unaffordable city to rent in Australia. An Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute report released last week revealed the city had the highest short-stay density in the country and one of the highest Airbnb densities in the world.
Mr Wilkie said the lack of regulation had led to more people converting long-term rentals to short-term accommodation.
“Indeed, University of Sydney housing researcher Professor Peter Phibbs confirmed that 12 per cent of Hobart’s rental market is dedicated to short-stay rentals,” he said. “That’s more than 1 in 10 properties that Hobart renters are locked out of.
“It is simply unacceptable that there are thousands of Tasmanians in precarious housing situations. Hobart’s housing crisis is deeply entrenched and severe. No Tasmanian should be forced to sleep rough, couch-surf, or live in unstable short-term accommodation.”