Homeowners receive mysterious letters telling them to give away summer homes for free

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A mysterious group is targeting the suburbs they blame for Australia’s rental crisis and over the weekend they hit a new affluent area.

During the long weekend, the organization, known only as “Your Concerned Friends,” left letters at multiple holiday houses in Lorne, a coastal town outside of Melbourne.

In the letters, they called on the owners of holiday homes in the area to give away their property for free to struggling locals.

“Holiday homeowners should turn their holiday homes into full-time accommodation right away by doing one of these things, listed in order of most to least generous,” the note reads.

“1. Simply giving it to someone who’s struggling to find a place to live, if you’re so wealthy that you own it without a mortgage;

“2. Selling for an affordable amount to someone who’s struggling to find a place to live

“3. Renting it for an affordable amount to someone who’s struggling to find a place to live.”


A letter from your concerned friends
A mysterious group is targeting the suburbs they blame for Australia’s rental crisis and over the weekend they hit a new affluent area.
YourConcernedFriends.org

It comes as news.com.au previously reported that the same group had left letters in the mailboxes of homes in the prestigious Melbourne suburb of Toorak, demanding they give away all their properties and cars for free.

Lorne, a two-hour drive from Melbourne along the Surf Coast in regional Victoria, is a popular holiday hot spot but in recent years the town has found itself in the throes of an accommodation crisis.

The Airbnb platform is a particular scourge for locals.

In 2018, the town made headlines as more than 100 of its baristas were forced to live in caravans – while holiday homes were rented out to tourists.


A letter from your concerned friends
During the long weekend, the organization, known only as ‘Your Concerned Friends’, left letters at multiple holiday houses in Lorne, a coastal town outside of Melbourne.
YourConcernedFriends.org

And since the Covid-19 pandemic, things have only got worse.

In February this year, the Victorian Greens called for a 90-day limit on holiday homes being used for short-stay accommodation.

The political party also tried to push for short-stay operators to be named and shamed on a mandatory public register to encourage secondary homes to be put on the long-term rental market.

Earlier this month, Lorne held crisis talks over its accommodation crisis. The 10-member community advisory panel has met five times since March to urgently address the problem.


A letter from your concerned friends
In the letters, they called on the owners of holiday homes in the area to give away their property for free to struggling locals.
YourConcernedFriends.org

In the letters, dropped in Lorne in the past few days, they start with the line: “Holiday homes make the housing crisis worse.”

They also add “Of course, people should be able to go for a holiday! But no one needs a holiday home to do that.”

The ‘Your Concerned Friends’ organization is also calling on the government to step in and regulate the industry.

They recommended the government “forbid” properties being used as holiday homes, and to go a step further by turning these properties into public housing establishments.

The previous letters bluntly accused homeowners in Toorak of being “too rich”.

“History teaches us that wealth inequality breeds resentment and anger among people who are not wealthy,” the note reads.

“If we reach a point where those feelings boil over, then we’ll see unrest and violence which will endanger every one of us.

“This is a future we must avoid.

“As someone who’s causing inequality, you have the means and the responsibility to fix it.

“You can do this by giving away a substantial portion of your wealth.”

Data from property analysis firm PropTrack shows the median house price in Toorak is $5.19 million.

It comes as Australia’s central bank hiked interest rates again last week, for the 12th time in 14 months, in a sign of more pain coming for homeowners and renters.

Inflation is sitting at 6.8 percent while wage growth is falling further behind.

The latest figure from SQM Research found that the national rental vacancy rate sits at 1.2 percent in April, the tightest it’s been in years.

There are reports of some having to resort to living in tents, cars, or improvised homes as they are unable to find a place to live while the wealth gap has doubled since 2021, with the rich essentially getting richer, according to a report from earlier this month.

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