‘Zombie houses’ can save the Australian rental crisis in

Australia needs a radical policy shift to solve the growing rental crisis.

There is no end in sight for the current rental squeeze, especially with a return to high levels of immigration and international students to put further pressure on the rental market.

“With short stay rental accommodation options such as Airbnb taking so many home off the rental market, social housing today doesn’t solve the problem of those in need during this rental crisis,” First National Real Estate CEO Ray Ellis said.

“Investors do not want to deal with a long term tenant that pays them 600 a week when they can get $1000 a weekend or the equivalent of a year’s rent in holiday times.”

‘Zombie homes’ could solve the rental crisis. Picture: Jerad Williams

Mr Ellis said federal, state and local govenment’s need to work together to solve the situation.

“There are also empty Foreign investor homes – should governments consider a policy to ensure these are used for rental rather than remain empty?” Mr Ellis asks.

“All of these ‘Zombie houses’ I’ve talked about above, just sitting therer with no one in them, can help to save the rental crisis.”

Tough conditions for landlords, including tighter legislation has also affected the number of properties available.

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“The market has been so hot and with every state legislation geared towards the tenant and not the landlord you can understand why long term investors decide now is the time to sell up,” Mr Ellis said.

“That property is bought by a owner-occupier and it’s out of the rental market.”

Mr Ellis said lawmakers need to take a longer term view with rentals and councils are a vital part of this.

First National CEO Ray Ellis says governments need to do more. PICTURE: STEWART McLEAN

“Australia built 240,000 houses in the late ‘50s and ‘60s as a commitment to social housing but we have never done that again,” he said.

“For the past 20 to 25 years we have put that responsibility on the private sector and now there are no rentals available anywhere in Australia.

“When migration hits, that will increase demand and increase prices

“The government need to look at social housing policy. With rental supply not keeping up with demand, every council must release more land. People will be prepared to invest, and supply needs to pick up. Government needs to make that commitment.”

“We can’t have people sleeping in caravans, in their cars, or in the house out the back.”

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