Hol­i­day home own­ers drive rental cri­sis

Albany Extra - - News - Saskia Adysti

High de­mand for hol­i­day homes and lack of af­ford­able rental ac­com­mo­da­tion in Den­mark is leav­ing some res­i­dents without per­ma­nent homes.

Hazel Moon who has worked for Den­mark Com­mu­nity Col­lec­tive for the past 20 years has formed Den­mark Home­less Project to help res­i­dents who are sleep­ing rough.

Ms Moon said there was a short­age of af­ford­able rentals in Den­mark due to the high per­cent­age of hol­i­day homes in town.

“A lot of rich folks are mov­ing down and buy­ing up houses, es­pe­cially the cheaper ones for hol­i­day houses,” she said.

“Forty-three per cent of house own­ers in Den­mark are not per­ma­nent res­i­dents.

“Some rent out their house, but the ma­jor­ity of these ab­sen­tee own­ers don’t.”

Ac­cord­ing to realestate.com.au there are only 18 avail­able rental prop­er­ties in Den­mark with an av­er­age rental price at $330 a week.

This is in marked con­trast to Al­bany which has 113 avail­able rental prop­er­ties with an av­er­age rental price at $350 a week.

Ms Moon said the State hous­ing depart­ment has not kept up with the de­mand of af­ford­able rental hous­ing in the area.

“I’ve got a sin­gle mum who has had

The ma­jor­ity of (home­less peo­ple) are ac­tu­ally long-term res­i­dents of Den­mark. So any help that we can get will go a long way.

Hazel Moon

to move 25 times in 15 years so they are in sur­vival mode con­stantly,” she said.

“There doesn’t seem to be any will to build any af­ford­able long-term ac­com­mo­da­tion — the pri­or­ity is more on a cri­sis re­sponse.

“Even if they come up with cri­sis ac­com­mo­da­tion, you still need an af­ford­able rental place for them to go af­ter­wards.

“If not, there would be a bot­tle­neck of peo­ple who are con­stantly look­ing for one.”

To help with the sit­u­a­tion, Ms Moon is col­lect­ing a list of house own­ers who are will­ing to share their house or per­mit a car­a­van on their block.

“There’s ac­tu­ally a mis­con­cep­tion that these peo­ple who are home­less are mainly out-of-town­ers,” she said.

“The ma­jor­ity of them are ac­tu­ally long-term res­i­dents.

“So any help that we can get will go a long way.”

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