The Greens are calling on the NSW government to take urgent action to support people in the long-term who have become homeless due to the catastrophic floods throughout NSW.
It's crucial that the NSW Liberal / National government steps in and puts the interests of impacted communities ahead of their cosy relationships with investors.
The government's rent relief package will assist people in the short-term, providing funds for temporary accommodation however a longer term solution must be found. It was clear that before this flood event, there was a chronic shortage of rental accommodation in regional NSW.
We know that there are many empty or unaffordable properties currently sitting vacant and available on short-term rental sites - these could immediately be made available and affordable to those who are in urgent need of somewhere to live.
We are calling on the government to look at options which will ensure that people can access housing at market rents and not holiday rents.
We are urging the NSW state government to take responsibility for the housing crisis in flood impacted areas by using their powers to create more medium and long-term rental stock. Options available for the Premier to consider right now would be to:
- Either suspend Short-Term Rental Accommodation by disallowing or revoking permissions for property owners to lease properties as short-term rental accommodation, unless in exceptional circumstances, to ensure that people who have nowhere to live have access to every available rental property at reasonable market rates for the next 6-12 months.
- Or provide incentives to owners of short-term rental properties who lease their properties at an affordable rate for periods of at least 12 months.
People need secure options and stable accommodation - and that’s where the state government could use incentives or changes to planning permissions to make a whole lot of new housing stock available on the medium to long-term rental market.
The locals in flood impacted areas know all too well the damage the profit-driven short-term rental accommodation industry has already done to housing affordability in their communities.
Now is not the time for anyone to be making big profits from a crisis - and it’s critical the government steps in to ensure this doesn’t happen.
The Greens have also set out some other immediate actions the NSW government could implement to provide protection to the many renters who need support including stopping evictions, capping rents, and issuing bond vouchers.
Sign our petition calling on the government to take action now.