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The City of Sydney continues to sign off on Determination of Development Applications that absolutely prohibit short-term rentals in Residential Class 2 developments, though Council released last week an April 2017 ‘survey’ reporting to be in search of ‘a balance’ on short-term letting - some involved in studying it describe it as “economically difficult…with a fundamental error in the design apparent”.

Given yesterday’s fire in a Christchurch Airbnb rental that saw six occupants taken to hospital, one must remember how close Sydney came in July 2014 when Containers of Shame housing young travellers at Alexandria burst into flames. At the time, journalist Jimmy Thomson wrote: “…residents of apartment blocks where illegal rentals are happening right under their noses turn a blind eye because they “don’t want to cause trouble”. Hope that works for you when your building goes up in smoke… Consider this: every residential flat that’s illegally let on a holiday website is another shipping container of kids looking for a safe bed for the night. We ought to be ashamed of ourselves.”

City of Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore nailed it in her Council ‘Minute’ of 28 July: “Overcrowding and illegal accommodation is a difficult problem…because its underlying cause is a lack of affordable housing options. (Council’s) Health and Building Unit receives over 6,500 complaints annually, including approximately 1,100 allege unauthorised land uses. The following amendments to the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 are needed to streamline and improve Local Government’s enforcement capacity, including: The new order would refer to ‘commercial places of shared accommodation’ and include any commercial operation where people stay on a short or long-term basis. It would apply to premises that are not approved for shared accommodation where the use leads to unsafe/unhealthy conditions or significant amenity impacts for neighbouring properties…. Development of a licencing (sic) regime for visitor and tourist accommodation premises comparable to that established for boarding houses; and amending the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act to provide increased enforcement powers for unsafe and overcrowded premises…”

Let’s have no more talk of making short-term letting ‘work’

15 young lives lost at Childers can’t be forgotten. We are so close to another disaster

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

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