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The South Coast Council asks holiday home owners to rent out properties as the housing crisis escalates

Written by Javed Iqbal

A coastal council in New South Wales is begging 7,500 holiday home owners from Canberra and Sydney to make their properties available to tenants to ease the region’s housing crisis.

Eurobodalla Shire Council Mayor Mathew Hatcher has written to a total of around 8,000 non-resident taxpayers who own homes along the south coast, urging them to consider renting them out for one to two years while long-term solutions can be established.

“We know that many Canberrans, and I was one of them, use this area as their vacation destination every summer,” said Councilor Hatcher.

“And there’s no doubt about it, we want you down here, we need your money, we need you to be a tourist for this region.

“We can not wait for years for housing to be built. We need to address the shortage of rental housing in our community right now.”

A man in a white t-shirt smiling by a river.
Mayor Mathew Hatcher says he needs help from cottage owners to remedy the housing crisis.(ABC South East: Keira Proust)

About 4,000 homes in Eurobodalla Shire, stretching from South Durras in the north to past Tilba TIlba in the south, are owned by residents of Sydney.

A further 3,500 are owned by Canberrans, 280 are owned by Victorians and hundreds more are owned by people living intergovernmental or abroad.

When 500 homes were lost in the Eurobodalla Shire during the Black Summer Bushfires in 2020, the council made a similar prayer to vacation home owners across the country.

“More than 80 homes were put on the market,” Cr Hatcher said.

Families staying at campsites in the winter

The lack of affordable rental housing in the area has disappeared more than 50 people living on a campsite near Moruya because they have no alternative option.

More than a third of all houses in Eurobodalla are the second home for people living permanently outside the area.

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Javed Iqbal

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