Along with the profound impact on housing supply created by commercial short-term letting of residential homes, that which we have always endeavoured to impress on legislators is the loss of safety and security when neighbours and neighbourhood communities are undermined by the likes of Airbnb.
Police responded to a 000 call from two distressed girls in a Sydney CBD residential block. Neighbours were unable to assist; the building was full of short-term lets so no one ever knew who was ‘in house’. Shortly after the 2014 Lindt Café siege and some 10-days later a lock-down of the Circular Quay precinct, residents met with two members of the NSW Police Crime Prevention branch to discuss concerns over porous security in strata buildings in locations from which terror activities could easily target major infrastructure, tourists and locals alike.
Last week at a public forum, State Member for Davison and Parliamentary Secretary Jonathan O’Dea shut down a question from a representative of Neighbours Not Strangers. O’Dea criticised the fact that we hold a “position” on the monetisation of our homes and the increased levels of criminality which accompany ‘mixed use’ – short-term letting alongside permanent residents – as demonstrated in an Australian Bureau of Criminality report.
Articles, such as that in London’s Evening Standard – Manchester attack: Suicide bomber ‘was in city-centre flat rented on Airbnb’ before arena atrocity – only increase our sense of vulnerability. NSW Legislators, please assure us: are our fears real or imagined?
Meanwhile, we wait the NSW Parliament’s ‘Options Paper’, as Minister Matt Kean’s Office continues to deny our request to be included in the consultation process.
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Neighbours not Strangers