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WA rental crisis: Desperate families break in, ‘house hop’ in Airnbs

A young family is caught on CCTV breaking into an Airbnb, seemingly only for a roof over their heads, highlighting the brutal reality of WA’s rental crisis.

They’re house-hopping in the southwest of the state in the middle of the night, washing their children and even washing their clothes.

Then before the sun comes up, the family disappears again after packing a blanket and basic supplies before leaving.

“I think there are a lot of desperate people out there right now,” Davinia Gillard, who runs the Airbnb, told 7NEWS Monday night.

“They break into Airbnbs to give them some shelter for the night.”


The family did not touch expensive electronics at the Busselton property.

Ms Gillard operates 80 short-stay accommodations in the state and says there have been four cases of desperate people squatting there in the past week alone.

Each time, similar items such as bedding and pillows have been taken.

The vacancy rate at WA currently fluctuates around one percent.

Other vacation home operators have shared similar stories with 7NEWS.

Camera iconA young family is caught breaking into an Airbnb. Credit: 7NEWSdelivered

REIWA President Damian Collins told The West Australian this week that WA’s construction industry was in dire need of a workforce boost.

“We already have a shortfall of 8,000 homes in the state,” said Mr. Collins.

“And the builders can currently only produce 14,000 houses a year.

“Demand will get closer to 20,000 per year in the coming years, so we have a serious problem.

“It is imperative that we bring in skilled labor to help build the houses.”

Prime Minister Mark McGowan is currently recruiting staff in Europe.

“We have our sights set on workers in construction, manufacturing, medical and healthcare, hospitality, tourism, agriculture and mining,” Mr McGowan said before leaving.

“I will give a big push here and emphasize why Western Australia is the ideal place to move to.”

WA’s two-year border lockdown kept COVID out but contributed to a serious shortage of skilled labor.

Shreya has been with australiabusinessblog.com for 3 years, writing copy for client websites, blog posts, EDMs and other mediums to engage readers and encourage action. By collaborating with clients, our SEO manager and the wider australiabusinessblog.com, Shreya seeks to understand an audience before creating memorable, persuasive copy.

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