The Greens are calling on the federal government to put limits around short-term rentals such as Airbnb to boost supply and take pressure off rents.
Leader Adam Bandt said if the federal government regulated Airbnb, it could then move to manage rents through a freeze and cap on increases.
“If we really want to fix the problem, then government has to look at soaring rents right across the country as well as in those places where it’s biting hard,” he said.
Mr Bandt denied freezing rents would spook investors and diminish supply by sending landlords towards Airbnb and short-term renting, where they could charge higher rates and have fewer responsibilities towards tenants.
“I don’t think that’s what’s going to happen because we need to have regulations that apply across the board,” he said.
“People should be able to afford to rent a house, this is not a big ask.”
Housing Minister Julie Collins has said the rules for Airbnb were an issue for states.
But she pointed to evidence services such as Airbnb and Stayz have an impact on rents in tourist areas.
The interim National Housing Supply and Affordable Council has made a raft of recommendations to boost rental stock and ease costs.
The Greens agreed to pass Labor’s signature $10 billion housing investment fund last week after securing $3 billion for social and affordable housing on top of a $500 million yearly investment floor from the fund regardless of the return it makes.
But they failed to secure a rental freeze, something state and territory governments have ruled out.
Mr Bandt said the party would make it a key election issue. – AAP