MidCoast Mayor Pontin asks landlords to help during housing crisis

MIDCOAST Mayor Claire Pontin has appealed to owners of rental properties, asking them to convert their short-term or holiday-stay leases to long-term, two-year leases.

And notes to that effect will be delivered with rates notices this year.

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She said the coast’s economy was slowing and a lack of housing availability was directly contributing to that.

“The lack of housing is slowing growth in the economy, and limiting infrastructure and provision of vital services,” said Mayor Pontin.

She said ratepayers and investors could “contribute to the future of the region by converting short-term or holiday accommodation to long-term, two-year leases”.

“It doesn’t just benefit the rest of the community, but also homeowners that currently have short-term leases as well,” Cr Pontin added.

“This would allow for the building industry to catch up on demand in those two years.”

She said council believed the lack of available housing in the region is causing distress socially and economically.

Nine-month leases are now trending among property owners, keeping three months clear during the summer to charge inflated prices.rj

The mayor’s appeal co*963.

mes in response to local industry and business complaints that a lack of rental accommodation is having an impact on their ability to recruit staff, and that is having a knock-on effect on the local economy.

This public appeal highlights that little else is happening.

Both state and federal governments are grappling with housing crises.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese’s bid to establish a $10-billion sovereign wealth fund, the ‘Housing Australia Fund’ was shot down by the Greens.

The Greens’ have demanded the Federal Government orchestrate two-year rent freezes, followed by rent-increase caps.

At state level Newtown Greens MP Jenny Leong introduced a ‘rent-freeze’ Bill on 29 June, which currently sits in adjournment.

A letter from the mayor will be included with all rates notices distributed this month to the more than 50,000 property owners in the MidCoast area urging them to consider longer leases.

By Thomas O’KEEFE

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