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NEIGHBOURS NOT STRANGERS - Response to Parliamentary 'Options Paper'

Neighbours Not Strangers has submitted our Response to the New South Wales Parliament’s ‘Options Paper’ on the commercial use of residential housing – our document can be accessed here. We take this opportunity to thank the many NSW Residents who are signatories to our Community Action Group, our coalition partners here and overseas, plus those who have worked closely with us on our Response to Ministers Roberts and Kean. With nil financial resources and pitted against multi-billion dollar foreign-owned outfits, we endeavour to convey to our Legislators and Policy Makers the profound fundamental incompatibility of mixing Airbnb-type rentals with permanent residents. We must hope that when th

HELLO, BYRON COUNCIL? WE’D LIKE TO REPORT MORE ILLEGAL ACTIVITY

“How many backpackers can fit into a granny flat?” That’s the question asked in Byron’s Echo Net Daily today. A letter from Byron Resident June McCormack makes for distressing reading. If you think this situation doesn’t apply to you…don’t! All it takes is for one of your neighbours to flip their residential property onto a short-term rental platform or toss the keys to a real estate agent who’s happy to be complicit in this use of residential housing for commercial purposes. And hey, your home life will probably disintegrate into a living Hell quicker than your can gather your children indoors. Thanks to Inside Airbnb’s Murray Cox, we can advise that Airbnb listings in the Byron Shire

THE LIBERAL DEMOCRATS LOVE AIRBNB/STAYZ

Senator David Leyonhjelm, Leader of the Liberal Democrats and Senator for New South Wales is passionate about: ”protecting your right to choose, holding the government to account, representing those without a voice, fighting for your freedom, fighting to keep Australia on track and defending your right to speak” etc. The good Senator has concocted a claim about a sham-war on Regional Tourism and he’s backing the US$31 billion Airbnb and the US$8.8 billion Expedia Inc (which owns Stayz), and by default, he is also siding with Agoda, Wotif, Bookings.com, LastMinute.com, Google and others. They want commercial access to and control of our homes and to achieve this, we will have to dismantle ump

DEAR MINISTERS, WHERE'S OUR RELIEF FROM ALL THIS?

The good corporate executives over at Airbnb are under no illusion that they’re breaking Planning legislation; at least in the UK they are pleading for a ‘let off’. Here in NSW the Yamba Residents Action Group has been asking Clarence Valley Council to uphold and enforce their residential zoning. Result: the US$31-bilion Airbnb has come straight back with one of their standard responses in the local press: another of their smiling landlords who appears to be in clear breach of the residential status on her property, pleading the benefits of Airbnb. Meanwhile, the nearby Coffs Harbour Novotel is closing – fault of holiday letting – with “many losses for jobs and careers, potential financial

BACK TO THE GOOD OLD DAYS OF 'CASH -FOR-COMMENT'?

As the deadline for responses to the NSW Parliament’s so-called ‘Options Paper’ approaches, Airbnb and Stayz spokespersons are noticeably quiet, yet under pressure in Tasmania they are challenging a pushback against the recent relaxation on housing legislation: any reversal would “hurt” Tassie’s Tourism Industry and “potentially damage iconic events”. No mention from Airbnb’s Brent Thomas of what they are doing to housing supply, rents, community cohesion, etc.. The SMH/Domain have just run articles: How ‘letting go’ and Airbnb lead to “a better life”, and, “how to create an Airbnbable space”. In the ‘readers comments’ section we asked if this was an example of ‘cash-for-comment’ – we did

'I Spy With My Little Eye'

In Regional NSW and in our cities, Real Estate Agents are actively directing residential homes away from residents and onto booking platforms. Beachside Breaks and Luxico are among some of Airbnb biggest operators: no need to issue a lease, produce condition reports, collect/lodge/reimburse bonds etc – just much higher commissions. Airbnb landlords too are swapping notes on social media on how to skirt any limits imposed on their illegal practices and advising where best to place hidden cameras following the discovery of a camera in a smoke alarm in one Airbnb bedroom. Given that Airbnb, Stayz/Expedia still haven’t disclosed their total spend on trying to ‘buy and lie’ their way to control

AT THE FIRST JINGLE OF A BELL – WHO’S GETTING READY TO PRICE GOUGE?

Airbnb are masters at deflecting attention away from the real and profound effects of their corporate business model – their target and ‘capital’, of course, are our homes. Robbing residents of access to affordable housing doesn’t earn a US$31 billion private empire much in the way of karma. Who better then to wage a faux war against, thereby drawing attention away from their murky operations, than ‘big, bad Hotels’? High on the list of Airbnb’s phony accusations: Hotel ‘price gouging’. At the same time, Airbnb landlords swap notes away from prying eyes on how much to ‘up’ their prices: “from $360 to $850 per night, ramping up from mid-October” (see photo), while others in Airbnb’s so-c

WHAT’S HOT AND WHAT’S NOT IN TERMS OF SHORT-TERM RENTALS

Fresh from the long-weekend break, one North Shore Sydney Council will meet on Tuesday evening to consider a response to the NSW Parliament’s Options Paper. The Council estimates there are 380 Airbnb listings in its Municipality. Seems they’re relying on very old data plus no consideration is given to other STR Agents and Platforms that have penetrated their area. They write that not all issues connected to tourist/visitor rentals affect them…we’re not sure which issues, nor why not. And there’s confusion about the definition of what is and isn’t a short-term rental, plus a claim that “the burden of proof required (reckon they could knock on the door and ask?) for successful prosecution

© 2016 by NEIGBOURS NOT STRANGERS:  Residential Housing is for Housing Residents - Homes Not Hotels - Communities Not Transit Zones - People Before Profits

    Website:  www.neighboursnotstrangers.com    Email:  neighboursnotstrangers@gmail.com