As Hobart’s housing crisis worsens, a Tasmanian legislative councillor is proposing an Upper House inquiry into Airbnb and other short-stay accommodation.
Airbnb and Stayz have been dragged into the housing crisis debate, as the state experiences a housing shortage at the same time as the number of short-term rentals increases.
Several working families have been living in tents at the Royal Hobart Showgrounds, unable to find suitable rental accommodation.
The impact of short-stay accommodation on private rental markets isn’t fully understood.
But welfare groups including the Tenants’ Union are pointing fingers, saying they’ve contributed to the present shortage.
Launceston independent MLC Rosemary Armitage is pushing for an Upper House select committee to examine the issue when parliament returns in May.
“I think it’s important that we actually look at what impact it does have on the private rental market, if it has any,” Ms Armitage said.
“It really is important that we actually get the facts as best we can, to find out what the benefits and challenges are.”
However she said she would need to discuss the terms of reference with the other MLC’s she proposed for the committee.
Hobart independent MLC Rob Valentine said a committee was a good idea, and he would like to be part of it if he’s re-elected in May.
“I just think that we really need to understand the full impact of that share economy,” Mr Valentine said.
“There would be a lot of different stakeholders who’d be able to build the bigger picture on this I think,” Mr Valentine said.
The Tasmanian Government relaxed regulations for most short-stay accommodation last year.
At an emergency housing summit last month, the Treasurer Peter Gutwein again ruled out regulating Airbnb.