Plea for Noosa landlords to help rental market

January 31, 2023 7:38 am in by
AAP Image/Lukas Coch

Noosa Mayor Clare Stewart has written to hundreds of non-resident ratepayers pleading with them to put their short-stay let property or vacant holiday homes onto the permanent rental market.

The impassioned plea comes as council looks at ways to boost the availability of affordable rental properties to help ease the shire’s housing crisis.

“We are seeing workers struggling to find homes and the loss of these workers has a detrimental impact on businesses and organisations delivering critical services to our community,” Cr Stewart says.

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In the letter, the mayor outlines the financial and community benefits available to homeowners when they make their property available for rent by a permanent tenant, including cheaper rates, insurance and a guaranteed income.

“We offer one of the best places to visit, but on the flipside, we have a lot of vacant properties that could go a long way to addressing the current housing crisis,” the Mayor says.

There are about 5,200 self-contained homes in Noosa that are used for short-term visitor accommodation. Census figures indicate about 18 per cent of all housing in Noosa was vacant on census night.

Council introduced a Transitory Accommodation rating category for properties used for short- term accommodation. Rates charged for short-term accommodation properties are significantly higher than those properties permanently occupied by the owner or a tenant.

“We appreciate that investors have a right to their holiday home income, but given the current situation, we are simply asking owners to consider helping Keep Noosa Home and ease the problem by making their property available for rent by a permanent tenant,” she says.

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“Put simply, there are not enough houses available to rent for the people who live and work here and who contribute to our society and economy.”

Cr Stewart says council has endorsed a Housing Strategy, which clearly identifies the housing crisis Noosa is experience and proposes a range of initiatives and solutions to assist all stakeholders and the state and federal governments to improve housing choice and affordability.

“It needs to be a collaborative effort and we feel homeowners and investors can also play their part,” she says.

“We are committed to ensuring there is suitable housing available for the people who work here, for the families who have lived here and contributed to the community for many years and for the elderly who have known no other place.”