There is no place for vacant homes in a housing crisis

2022-08-15

New data from Icon Water suggests that as many as 2400 homes could be currently sitting empty across the ACT, with more than 620 homes possibly having sat vacant for more than two years.

”We’re in the midst of a national housing and rental affordability crisis. We cannot simply accept homes  sitting vacant while so many need a home”,  ACT Greens Member for Brindabella Johnathan Davis said. 

”The figures released today by Icon Water are staggering and reinforce the need to seriously consider the merits of a vacancy tax. In addition, figures from the recent Census suggest there were more than 11,000 Canberra dwelling vacant on Census night.

”While some continue to advocate for endless urban sprawl as the panacea to the housing and rental affordability crisis, I believe we must be looking at all available policy options to solve this wicked problem. 

”These policy options could include both a vacancy tax and regulations addressing the increasing rate of properties used as short-term holiday accommodation, like Air-BnB. 

”There are more than 180,000 dwelling in Canberra and, in the context of this housing and rental affordability crisis, the Government must have a better understanding of how these properties are being used

“I’m looking forward to participating in the inquiry into housing and rental affordability.