Bane or blessing? Speak up about short term holiday letting

Tourist mecca Byron Bay is not alone in dealing with the impacts of short-term holiday letting.

MidCoast Council is amongst 12 councils between the Tweed and Kyogle in the north to Tea Gardens/Hawks Nest in the south to partner with Southern Cross University (SCU) to give residents a voice in a new survey, as communities along the NSW coastline grapple with the growth of Airbnb, Stayz and the like.

Properties listed on Airbnb and Stayz are popular options for visitors on the Mid Coast, with locals listing everything from caravans and rooms to entire dwellings on the short-term holiday letting (STHL) sites.

A search on Airbnb shows numerous lettings available in coastal towns from Crowdy Head down to Forster, and plenty of rural listings from Mondrook out to Gloucester.

Researchers from Southern Cross University want to give MidCoast locals a voice when it comes to the future of short-term holiday letting across the region.

"Airbnb, the latest, fastest-growing STHL platform, particularly raises polarised opinions across the North Coast communities and is the subject of ongoing debate concerning affordable housing versus tourism development." said project lead Dr Tania von der Heidt from SCU.

The aim of the survey is to gain an understanding of the scale of short-term holiday letting within the MidCoast region.

"Sharing your experiences through this survey will give both us and other councils across the North Coast of NSW a better understanding of the impacts of short-term holiday letting on our neighbourhoods and regions," said MidCoast Council's Deb Tuckerman.

This project comes as councils across NSW consider a short-term letting cap of 180 days for non-hosted STHL properties, including Airbnb. Such a policy amendment is now possible under the whole-of-government framework for short-term rental accommodation in NSW.

You can access and take part in the survey, before it closes on September 29, at www.scu.edu.au/midcoastSTHL.