Short-stay caps needed in State Budget to turn hotels back into homes

Australian Greens

The Victorian Greens have renewed their calls on the Victorian Labor Government to implement strong short-stay regulations ahead of the upcoming State Budget.

With the state’s rental vacancy rate at just 1.08 per cent, the Greens say urgent action is needed to free up more homes for long-term renters and first home buyers.

In the upcoming Budget it is expected Labor will introduce its previously announced levy on short-stay accommodation as part of a broader tax bill.

However, the Greens say that an additional booking fee will do little to turn investment properties into long-term homes. The Greens are prepared to support plans that put pressure on investors to free up homes for renters and first home buyers.

The Greens want to see:

  • A 90-day cap on the number of days a short-stay can be listed
  • A mandatory public register for short-stay properties
  • Powers for apartments buildings to ban or limit short stays

Victorian Greens renters’ rights spokesperson, Gabrielle de Vietri, said under Labor the housing crisis was getting worse.

She said too many people were struggling to find an affordable, long-term home. Meanwhile investors have turned tens of thousands of homes into hotels, pushing property prices up and locking people out of a home.

The Greens will likely be the deciding vote in the Upper House when Labor’s tax bill is introduced after the Budget – but have said they won’t support any plan that will see the housing crisis get worse.

The Greens are ready to negotiate with the state government in good faith to get a better outcome for Victorians struggling to find an affordable home.

As stated by Victorian Greens renters’ rights spokesperson, Gabrielle de Vietri MP:

“Property investors are hoarding homes to use as hotels while renters struggle to find a place to live.

“Across Victoria 48,000 entire homes are on platforms like Airbnb. This pushes up property prices, locks out first home buyers and takes homes away from renters.

“Major cities around the world – like Berlin, Amsterdam and London – have introduced day caps to stop investors from snapping up homes just to put them on Airbnb – it’s time for Victoria to do the same.

“Our plan would free up more homes for renters and owner-occupiers, and help fix the housing crisis.

“The question is whether Labor will come to the table or continue to make this crisis worse.”

/Public Release. View in full here.