Housing supply boosted in bid to help Denmark community

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A tiny house with large glass windows, sits in the backyard surrounded by a wooden fence and trees. Granny flat.
Camera IconA tiny house with large glass windows, sits in the backyard surrounded by a wooden fence and trees. Granny flat. Credit: Getty Images

Extra housing options are coming to Denmark with the Shire unanimously voting to ease restrictions on granny flats at Tuesday’s council meeting.

People who are not dependent or related to the person living in the main residence will now be able to rent the granny flat.

Other building restrictions requiring direct internal access or a covered walkway between the granny flat and the main residence will also be scrapped.

With Denmark in the grips of a housing crisis, it is hoped the move will quickly increase the supply of available accommodation and make it easier for people to find a rental.

But while all councillors supported the move, some concern remains over what impacts it could have on short stay accommodation providers. One resident who spoke at the meeting thought it could result in a payday for short-term accommodation providers and give minimal benefit to the community.

Speaking after the meeting, Denmark Shire chief executive David Schober said that while he appreciated these concerns, by increasing housing supply the move would carry a net benefit.

“While the council’s intent is to create more (long-term) housing options, people could choose to turn their granny flat or auxiliary accommodation into Airbnb,” he said.

“That’s a reality, that can happen and that’s up to the owner’s discretion ... If they do, they’ve got to apply to us for a development application.

“Let’s say 20 people decide to turn their auxiliary accommodation into short-stay accommodation, the market then becomes saturated so then (property owners) go into longer-term lease agreements.

“So while it is true that some people may choose to rent their property as short-stay accommodation, and not everyone will choose to open it up for long-term rentals, by putting extra houses into the market, it will help.”

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