Letter of Support to Byron Shire Council on regulating STRA

Byron Shire Council recently exhibited their proposed mapped approach to regulating short term rental accommodation (‘STRA’) in the LGA. Council has proposed that a lower annual day cap (90 days) apply to parts of Byron for ‘exempt’ non-hosted accommodation, compared to the lowest cap available under the current Housing SEPP planning instrument of 180 days.

Extract from the Planning Proposal showing parts of Byron Bay East that would be exempt non-hosted STRA (yellow) and all other allotments subject to 90-day non-hosted STRA cap.

This change is likely to incentivise the use of dwelling houses for homes in some locations rather than STRA, providing greater security of tenure for local residents in the rental market.

We wrote a short letter to Council in support of the proposed changes to regulating STRA. In our submission, we expressed agreement with Professor Peter Phibbs’ critique of the Economic Impact Assessment that was exhibited alongside the Planning Proposal; the EIA tends to downplay the social benefits of having a more secure workforce in the area.

Byron Shire Council is doing a fair bit in the housing space as it seeks to also introduce an Affordable Housing Contributions Scheme. We foresee these two policy levers working together to materially improve the lives of low-to-moderate income households in this chronically housing-stressed locality.