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Brent Thomas, head of Public Policy ANZ at Airbnb has hit back at claims made by Neighbours Not Strangers, saying our statements about the impacts of short-term holiday rentals on housing affordability “simply aren’t backed up by the facts and are absurd.”

Brent Thomas, please back up your claims. Friends and radio announcers in Canada continue to talk of our Australian Airbnb "contagion". Yet you deny all.

Airbnb and Stayz have 7,090* homes advertised in the Illawarra as holiday rentals. (* Figures provided by Inside Airbnb and taken directly from the Stayz website.) This is as many listings as in some global cities. How many more homes are no longer available to Illawarra Residents, fault of other STR platforms/agents?

In the Shoalhaven, where their Local Environment Plan was altered to allow unrestrained holiday rentals in residential homes, one counts 4,957 Airbnb and Stayz properties. Council has been grappling with a long-term, serious homelessness problem. Last week a draft Affordable Housing Strategy was lodged with Council; it was to be considered by Shoalhaven’s Development Committee two days ago.

Residents always have been free to share their homes with other residents – flatmates or housemates. Those in free-standing, single family dwellings can apply to operate a licensed, regulated Bed & Breakfast.

What gives a foreign-owned booking platform the right to tell us how our homes are to be used and by whom?

Homes not Hotels Communities not Transit Zones People before Profits Neighbours not Strangers

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