Noosa responds to housing crisis by adding more rentals to the market

A pool of properties has been added to Noosa’s permanent rental market in an effort to tackle the current housing crisis.

The 64 properties were previously short-stay holiday rentals, meaning on any given night they could have been vacant.

This result was in response of the Noosa Housing Strategy, which was endorsed by Noosa Council in November 2022 as a plan to “keep its residents at home” from now through to 2041.

The multi-pronged approach involves making pleas to landlords to provide more permanent accommodation, strategies to make the most of under-utilised council land and talks with churches and other charitable organisations to provide more social housing.

On Census night in 2021, Noosa had 4810 unoccupied private dwellings, which is about 18 per cent of Noosa Shire properties. This number did not include motel and resort apartments.

Previously referring to the crisis as a “social disaster”, Noosa Mayor Clare Stewart wrote to hundreds of holiday home and short-stay property owners in early February asking them to consider leasing to long-term tenants.

Noosa Council has added 64 homes to the rental market. Picture: Shutterstock

In the letter, the mayor outlined the financial and community benefits available to homeowners when they make their properties available for rent by a permanent tenant, including cheaper rates, insurance and a consistent income.

She has welcomed the transfer of the properties and thanked the property owners for responding to council’s call.

“Of the 488 properties on the permanent rental market in Noosa between February 23 and May 9, 64 were previously short-stay properties,” Cr Stewart said.

“This is a good result when you consider that council could not otherwise deliver 64 houses to the market on our own, and certainly not in a matter of months.

“(The property owners’) decision to offer their properties to permanent tenants has provided more than 60 homes for residents who might otherwise not have had somewhere to live due to the housing shortage.”

Cr Stewart said that while this was a positive step, it was only one small solution in addressing the crisis.

“While there is still a long way to go towards solving the housing crisis, particularly the affordability of local housing, every vacant and short-stay property made available for long-term tenants means one less family struggling to secure a home,” she said.

“While affordable housing is predominantly a state and federal government responsibility, finding solutions right now needs a collaborative effort and homeowners and investors can certainly help.

“We thank those who have made their properties available for permanent rental and we continue to urge owners of short-stay let properties to consider helping ease the problem by making their properties available for rent by a permanent tenant.”

Environment and sustainable development director Kim Rawlings said that as of October last year about 5200 properties in Noosa were used for short-term visitor accommodation.

“As a council we will continue to do what we can. Our recently adopted Housing Strategy proposes a range of initiatives and solutions to assist all stakeholders and the state and federal governments to improve housing choice and affordability,” she said.

Article source: Queensland Property Investor