Tasmanian News

Calls to curb Airbnb influence


Hobart Lord Mayor Anna Reynolds has backed calls for short-stay accommodation providers to be reined in, as the state's housing crisis shows no signs of slowing.

It follows similar comments from maverick MP Sue Hickey, which Labor is describing as a swipe at her Liberal colleagues in State Parliament.

Quarterly figures from September put the number of Tasmanians on the public housing waiting list at nearly 3500, despite a slight reduction in the time taken to find places for high priority public housing register applicants.

It's thought platforms like Airbnb are reducing the amount of long-term rental options, contributing to Tasmania's ongoing housing problems.

"Visitor accoommodation is certainly growing in the inner-city suburbs of Hobart and it is taking long-term rental properties out of the market. And that's a problem. We need to think about better regulation to try and prevent such a huge number of places being converted into visitor accommodation," Cr Reynolds said.

Ms Reynolds also rejected the suggestion that council isn't approving enough developments, after the recent knock-back of the Welcome Stranger apartment complex proposal on the corner Harrington and Davey Street.

"The vast majority of development proposals are approved in Hobart. We've got a building boom here. We're leading the state in terms of building approvals. But there are also a lot of tourists coming who prefer this sort of home-based visitor accommodation and I understand that, but we've just got to find a bit of balance so we're not losing long-term rentals."

"All cities with booming tourist markets have problems with accommodation. This isn't unique to Hobart. What we've got to try and do is design some regulations which are fit for purpose to stop the bleed of long-term rentals being taken into short-stay visitor accommodation," she said.

 Image: Pixabay

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