A quote yesterday of the loss of 6,000 properties worsening Sydney’s housing crisis grossly understates the extent of this issue, with the NSW Parliament quoting 216,000 homes lost across the State (2014 figure) to holiday rentals. The article’s author – strata lawyer and spokesperson for the Owners Corporation Network (OCN) - having presented the hellish scenario of living with the ‘Airbnb Contagion’, goes on to recommend to Government that owners within a strata scheme should now be given a choice of whether or not to retrospectively alter the Development Determination on a building...to 'hook' every strata community into a battle over short-term rentals. Mind you, this wasn’t the position arrived at by the OCN’s sub-committee charged with producing their policy on short-term rentals. And doesn’t this guarantees an automatic trigger to 'bring out your lawyers' in a never-ending battle over our homes?
Airbnb’s Brent Thomas was in The Australian, thumping: “This country has the highest percentage of active Airbnb users in the world…” and decrying the Tourism Industry’s refusal to grant Airbnb membership. This is Airbnb, who is appropriating our homes, not investing in bricks-and-mortar Hotels. Thomas is cross with those in the Accommodation Sector whose Employees’ jobs are on the line?
No disclosures yet on what is being poured into influencing the debate on exactly will who control the homes that you and your family members are depending on. And there are no details on what the short-term rental oligarchs are spending on hiring political lobbyists who are operating out of sight. Following are just some of those with noses in the trough:
Airbnb: Richardson Coutts Pty Limited and Statecraft Pty Ltd
Stayz: Barton Deakin Pty Limited and Kitschke, Bradley James
Expedia: Atherton Advisory Pty Ltd, Barton Deakin Pty Limited, Kitschke, Bradley James and Newgate Communications Pty Limited
Holiday Rental Industry Association: Atherton Advisory Pty Ltd
Owners Corporation Network: Australian Public Affairs Ltd Partnership
Homes not Hotels Communities not Transit Zones People before Profits Neighbours not Strangers