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Byron Shire City Council tackles housing crisis with 60-day cap on short-stay vacation rentals

As Byron Shire City Council moves forward with plans to cap short-term vacation rentals at 60 days a year, the state’s tourist attraction councils are watching with interest.

The cap is an important recommendation from the state’s Independent Planning Commission, which held two public hearings on the issue earlier this year.

New South Wales Planning Minister Paul Sculley told ABC that the onus is on Parliament to show that regulation can be enforced.

Mayor Michael Ryan said he is determined to make it happen.

“Actually we have QC [a King’s Counsel barrister] And we have expert planners on this to make sure we get something that’s actually viable,” he said.

“We’re going to specify exactly how this will be put in place to give the Department of Planning what it needs to get what we need.

“This is so important to our community that we cannot afford to miss it.”

Byron Mayor Michael Ryan is determined to introduce a 60-day cap on short vacations.()

Halve work on holidays?

People who own vacation properties can apply for a waiver of the cap.

Cr Lyon says the council needs to decide how much exemption will be granted.

“Right now, about 9 percent of all homes in the state are unhosted vacation homes,” he said.

“Even if we cut it in half, it would still be higher than anywhere else in Australia.

“So you have to start looking somewhere in that range. That’s where you start.”

Colin Hussey says vacation rentals account for $440 million in Byron’s tourism industry.()

Those numbers have been challenged by industry campaigning against the proposed cap.

The holiday rental sector is a key part of the region’s billion-dollar tourism industry, according to Colin Hussey, CEO of A Perfect Stay.

There are about 20,000 homes in the state, 950 of which are used as full-time vacation rentals, he said.

“That’s about $440 million out of that billion,” Hussey said.

However, he acknowledged that there may be room for compromise.

“What we want to do is work on affordable housing, so limit the number of full-time people.” [holiday rental] The house is collapsing but let them do it365 [days a year],” He said.

“But for those who want to do it, 60 days is enough to discourage the transition to full-time vacation rentals.”

Common parliamentary issues

South Shore of the State, Mayor of Shoalhaven Amanda Findlay wrote a letter to a local vacation rental owner last year. We asked them to consider switching to long-term rentals.

Shoalhaven has popular white sand beaches and the crystal clear waters of Jervis Bay.()

The city council has been unable to find a flexible alternative considering the popularity of different areas of LGA, so it has a comprehensive 365-day policy for vacation rentals.

“We are kind of helpless at the moment,” Cr Findley said.

“We can only wear blankets [policy] Since it is the number of days, there is no nuance.

“Because state government guidelines do not allow us to intervene in subtle and meaningful ways on a per-suburban basis.”

Shoalhaven Mayor Amanda Findley said the short break required a “subtle” solution.()

Cr Findley is pleased that the Byron Shire Council is working on this issue.

“They’ve been serious about this issue for a long time,” she said.

“They opened people’s eyes to this issue and gave people like me the opportunity to join them on that platform and say, ‘Look, we have a problem too. ”

Cr Findley would like local governments to take the following steps: wide range of options To address vacation rentals that include annual caps, additional property taxes, or owner levies.

“Definitely, we think caps are part of the solution, but we think caps are in the planning area,” she said.

“We want to impose a levy or higher fee to visit those properties to make sure they are treated as businesses and not as residences.”

1 year from now

Byron Shire City Council wants to set a 60-day cap by next June.

For Sama Barzon, who has been forced to relocate 24 times since last year’s floods, he believes change cannot come quickly enough.

“If you already have a reservation, you have to hobble out of the rental facility,” she says.

“Schoollies Week forced me and my family to move out of a nice little place that was probably the longest I’ve stayed in that period.”

Byron City Councilman Sama Balson has moved 24 times since last year’s floods.()

Balson said the 60-day cap was a “significant step forward” in freeing up housing inventory.

“We’ve already lost a lot of inventory… Grandma’s flats are no longer for grandmas. Pensioners can’t afford vacation rental prices,” she said.

“The 60-day cap will definitely help bring existing home inventory back into the rental market.

“This is essentially the easiest achievement and a clear first step in solving the housing crisis.”

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2023-06-14/byron-60-day-cap-short-stay-holiday-rentals-housing-crisis/102468726 Byron Shire City Council tackles housing crisis with 60-day cap on short-stay vacation rentals

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