Addressing the south-west's homelessness crisis is a top priority for the region's mayors.
But restricting the number of nights a property can be listed as a short-term rental is not yet on the drawing board.
The Standard asked Warrnambool, Corangamite and Moyne shire mayors whether they would consider following the lead of a number of councils in New South Wales, which have limited the number of nights to 180 days allowed for short stays.
Warrnambool mayor Vicki Jellie said the council would soon begin consulting with community members about the introduction of a $400 annual fee that would be applied to properties used for short-term accommodation.
Cr Jellie said the fee could be introduced for two main reasons.
"One is that it will encourage property owners to consider making their property available for long-term rental," she said.
"The other is that the proposed fee is in line with actions taken by other municipalities to address the inequity between recognised, registered visitor accommodation providers who pay a commercial rate and those also providing visitor accommodation through platforms such as AirBnb, which have a residential rate applied to their properties."
Moyne Shire mayor Ian Smith said the council would launch a 'lease to a local' campaign shortly.
People who own holiday homes will be encouraged to consider offering them as long-term rentals.
Cr Smith said the council was continuously looking at options for more subdivisions across the shire to provide more housing.
However, he said the skills shortage in the building industry was resulting in lengthy waits for houses to be built.
Cr Smith said he was concerned Port Fairy's Catalina Caravan Park, which was home to a number of long-term tenants, was closing.
"It's really disappointing," Cr Smith said. "It's already hard to bring people into the area to service the industries."
Corangamite Shire mayor Ruth Gstrein said she was aware of a large number of people who were staying in caravan parks because they couldn't find a rental property.
"The lack of housing is really dire at the moment and it's not just affordable housing - we have a real lack of rental stock," she said.
Member for South West Coast Roma Britnell said she believed new tenancy laws had resulted in a number of property owners deciding not to rent out their homes.
She said she spoke to dozens of people who had serious concerns about damage caused to their properties or tenants who were behind in rent but refused to leave.
Ms Britnell said there was a huge wait to have those issues heard in the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal.
"The introduction of legislation has made landlords extremely reluctant to have their properties in the mix for renters," she said. "We've lost properties off the market that were once there."
Ms Britnell said it was disgraceful more wasn't being done to help people who didn't have a roof over their head.
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