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Brisbane Mayor Adrian Schrinner urges residents to hire neighbors with short-stay rentals

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A municipality is urging residents to “float” homes they suspect are being rented out as Airbnb-style accommodation in an effort to stem an unprecedented housing crisis.

Brisbane Mayor Adrian Schrinner on Tuesday called on residents of the city to report neighbors who they believe are renting out their homes through platforms such as Airbnb, Bookings.com and Stayz.

The move comes three months after Brisbane City Council passed a 50 percent rate increase for short-term rental housing – costing an additional $985 in rates per year.

Mayor Adrian Schrinner (pictured) urged Brisbane residents to report properties they believe may be rented out for short stays in a bid to make more housing available

Schrinner claims the ‘dob-in’ call is not a measure to boost revenue, but an effort to make more homes available after vacancy rates in the state plunge to a record low of 0.7 percent.

“I’d be happy if this new rating category didn’t bring in a single dollar,” said Cr Schrinner.

Brisbane is currently facing a serious housing shortage as not enough homes are being built to meet demand.

“We want this new rating category to convince owners to return properties to the long-term rental market so that they can become permanent homes.”

Homeowners will receive a letter with their next rate bill asking them to mark any property they believe is a short-stay property in their area.

Schrinner asked for help from residents in a message shared on Twitter on Tuesday. “We’re asking you to help us get more homes back into the long-term rental market by letting us know about homes listed on sites like AirBNB and Stayz,” wrote Cr Schrinner.

The major went on to explain the rate increase as a motivation for short-stay homeowners to return their properties to the long-term rental market.

“Queensland is gripped by a housing crisis with Greater Brisbane’s vacancy rate at a record low of 0.7%,” wrote Cr Schrinner.

“That’s why we ask people to return their homes to the long-term rental market or pay higher rates that match the commercial use of the home.”

Fiona Cunningham, chair of the Brisbane Civic cabinet for finance, said the council hopes owners of short term stays will ‘self-nominate’ rather than be exposed by fellow residents.

In a post shared on Twitter, Schrinner asked residents for their help reporting property (pictured)

In a post shared on Twitter, Schrinner asked residents for their help reporting property (pictured)

The Lord Major explained that the 50 percent rate increase for short stays was done to motivate homeowners to return their properties to the long-term rental market (pictured)

The Lord Major explained that the 50 percent rate increase for short stays was done to motivate homeowners to return their properties to the long-term rental market (pictured)

Ms Cunningham revealed that the council will use online technology tools to identify properties that fall into the Temporary Accommodation category.

“We’d rather people nominate themselves, which already happens when properties move from buying to renting,” said Cr Cunningham.

“However, the technology available allows the Council to identify properties that have been on short-term accommodation websites for 60 days.

“This is about trying to push properties back into the private rental market and making sure that those who use it in the short term pay their fair share.”

Susan Wheeldon, Airbnb’s country manager for Australia and New Zealand, criticized the rate hike as hurting ordinary Queensland residents who had to make ends meet.

“Tariffs will put further financial pressure on ordinary people sharing their homes to make ends meet,” Ms Wheeldon said in a statement.

“Proposals like these, if implemented, will harm guests and the wider community who rely on short-stay accommodation to afford affordable travel in Australia, including for purposes such as providing care and support to family members.”

It comes as vacancy in Brisbane has fallen to a record low of 0.7 percent (photo, Brisbane houses and apartments)

It comes as vacancy in Brisbane has fallen to a record low of 0.7 percent (photo, Brisbane houses and apartments)

Last month Prime Minister Annastacia Palaszczuk called an emergency summit to address Queensland’s housing crisis after a massive interstate migration caused 50,000 people to move to the state in just a year.

A first roundtable meeting with government and non-governmental stakeholders took place on 16 September, followed by the October summit.

The Prime Minister said the Queensland Housing Summit would address housing problems caused by recent flooding, interstate migration, population growth and construction delays.

“Nothing is more important than having a roof over your head – it’s a basic need – and the stories of people without safe housing are heartbreaking,” Ms Palaszczuk said.

“In a modern economy where we have one of the fastest growing economies in the country, you know, it’s a shock to see people living out of their cars or not being housed.

“I want the people of Queensland to understand that I recognize this is a problem.”

Ms Palaszczuk promised that the summit would not be just a chat and result in “key actions” – including land stocks and social housing – to resolve the crisis.

Queensland Prime Minister Annastacia Palaszczuk (pictured) will lead an emergency housing freeze in October to tackle the state's housing crisis, promising it would result in 'key actions'

Queensland Prime Minister Annastacia Palaszczuk (pictured) will lead an emergency housing freeze in October to tackle the state’s housing crisis, promising it would result in ‘key actions’

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