Alpine Housing Project moving forward

29 November 2021

Like many areas of Victoria, many in the Alpine Shire community are struggling to find adequate and affordable housing. 

A high number of short term holiday rentals across the Alpine Shire, coupled with increased demand to live in the region, are causing a critical shortage in housing availability in local communities.

While holiday accommodation is essential to the local economy, there is an imbalance between high numbers of holiday accommodation and few long-term rentals.

This is impacting individuals and families, and placing strain on businesses who rely on staff to deliver key services, particularly for key workers in the hospitality, tourism, health, education and agricultural sectors.

Council recently put out a Shire-wide call to all ratepayers to consider placing their property onto the long term rental market.

Alpine Shire Mayor Sarah Nicholas said a handful of property owners have made contact with Council, and one residence is already in the process of being rented to a key worker.

“We have one firm rental currently on the long-term market, and a few more in the pipeline,” she said.

“We really appreciate the community-minded property owners who have, or are in the process of, entering the long-term rental market.

“It is critical to be able to house the key workers who care for us in our hospitals, nurture and teach our children and help keep our businesses and communities flourishing.”

Council mailed a letter to all landowners in the Alpine Shire in early November, appealing for anyone with available property, or anyone on the short-term rental market, to consider long term tenants.

Cr Nicholas said with summer fast approaching and many local businesses and services in desperate need of staff to meet demand, Council is still keen to discuss options with any property owners considering the switch.

“There are a number of benefits to long term rentals, including less outlays for cleaning, marketing and furnishing,” she said.

“The income difference between short-term and long-term accommodation may be less than people think.

“We strongly encourage anyone considering their property options to make contact with Council - your property could become a much-needed home for a vital key worker.”

Learn more and make contact with Council

Key statistics:

Towns and villages across the Alpine Shire have felt the impact of COVID-19 and the ongoing migration of Melbourne residents making a tree change into rural Victoria.

The statistics below are based on Bright data, but reflected across the Shire.

  • The median house purchase price increased by 24% between 2019 and 2020.
  • The cost of rent has increased by 14% between April 2020 to April 2021.
  • Between 2014 and 2020, median house prices in Bright increased by 117% from $330,000 to $715,000.
  • Over the same time period, median house prices in Alpine Shire increased by 45%, Metropolitan Melbourne by 38% and Regional Victoria by 40%
  • There are currently no long term let properties available across the Shire.
  • In April 2021, total stock of long term let properties decreased by 6% to previous year (some changing over to the short term let market).
  • Between June 2019 and June 2020, the population grew by 1.3%.
  • 65% of the working population of the Alpine Shire are classified as Key Workers - this includes agriculture, forestry, retail, accommodation and food services, education and training, health care and social assistance.
  • To avoid housing stress, housing costs should not exceed the threshold of 30% of household income. With the increase to long term rental prices and considering the average wage of a key worker, key workers cannot afford rent without entering housing stress.
  • An Airbnb search of properties available in Bright (July 2021) indicated that there were 293 properties listed. This represents approximately 19% of all housing stock in Bright.

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