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Ignored Rental Solution

Ignored Rental Solution

The politicians and talking heads of Australia are willing to consider or recommend ANYTHING as a solution to the rental shortage – anything EXCEPT the only thing that will work.

And which, incidentally, would be really easy to implement and would have much faster outcomes than the many crackpot schemes that are being suggested.

Every day mainstream media is full of articles about the rental crisis – with an emphasis on extreme situations, sensationalist headlines and the demonising of landlords as the arch-villains of the situation.

There are also growing instances of “big idea” solutions – and media loves those as well.

Some have suggested we can solve the crisis with pre-fabricated homes.

Others have suggested converting dis-used or under-utilised office space to apartments in inner-city areas.

There are moves by state and local governments to force people who use short-term letting options like Airbnb to switch to permanent rentals, but independent university analysis has shown that this won’t fix the shortage – because fundamentally Airbnb is NOT the problem.

Some states are fining people who own properties that APPEAR to be empty, such as holiday homes owned by a family for use by family members – but that won’t have any material impact either – because this, too, is not the cause of the rental shortage.

There have been suggestions of re-purposing refugee facilities or Covid quarantine facilities or army barracks as rental accommodation for the needy.

The Greens, in their collective madness, announced in the lead-up to the Queensland local government elections that they would take Brisbane’s biggest horse racing track from its legal owners and turn it into thousands of cheap homes – all for about $40 million, they said – apparently regardless of the reality that the legal owners of the land have rights and the value of the land is, realistically, measured in the hundreds of millions of dollars.

But media lapped it up and gave it enormous mileage, even though it was pie-in-sky, pixie-eyed, idealistic nonsense, with no practical merit whatsoever.

There are constant references by politicians and commentators to the need to build more dwellings, although that is NOT the solution to the rental shortage.

In terms of housing affordability, media is full of alleged solutions like tiny houses, or pre-fab houses, or land-lease arrangements (where you own the house but not the land, on which you have to pay rent).

All of this fluff in the media is a distraction from the real issues and the only viable solutions.

We have to provide incentives, rather than discouragements, to the people who provide over 90% of the homes that are rented in Australia – mum-and-dad property investors.

And politicians at all levels of government have to stop treating the housing industry as a cash cow, because THAT is the main reason why dwellings are so expensive in this country.


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