Victoria council promotes the benefits of home-sharing

But catering to tourists more than residents can have harmful long-term effects

Bedroom from a local home advertised on Airbnb, as seen online this week. Airbnb

Re: City’s STR policy is a logical step (Our View, Nov. 1)

Our booming real estate investment market is capitalizing on a desirable climate and a popular tourist destination.

Victoria’s dilemma!

Online accommodation platforms such as Airbnb, have contributed to an expanding global property investment market. These new “home-sharing” monopolies benefit individual and corporate owners. However, few cities are able to mitigate the negative impact of this unregulated business model. The result? A proliferation of quasi-hotels, now consuming housing space in tight rental markets.

Four in 10 condo units built in Victoria are purchased by corporate interests. Others are bought by retirees as seasonal residences, foreign students and their families, and high-income professionals or IT industry contractors.

The City’s short-term rental (STR) policy favours owners of existing downtown STR condos and legalized STRs in owner-occupied single-family homes. It’s now expanding STRs to multi-family rental properties. This is council’s answer to promoting “home-sharing” economy benefits equitably.

Sixty percent of Victoria’s households are renters. No landlord permits tenants to rent out rooms to tourists. Is council encouraging purpose-built apartment owners to convert suites into highly profitable STRs? This, at the expense of long-term tenants?

What about affordable rental housing in Victoria? Council has approved a growing number of older apartment demolitions, replacing rentals with high-priced condo units. Won’t their actions exacerbate the acute shortage of city rental units? This lure of $150 nightly fees for Airbnb-style accommodation will likely result in more long-term tenant evictions.

Lodging tourists has become a higher priority than housing those who live and work here. Is this progress? Is this council’s way of “protecting the greater good” and housing affordability in the city?

Victoria Adams

Victoria

Just Posted

Anxiety amongst voters on amalgamation referendum

Non-binding referendum asks Victoria and Saanich residents to endorse citizens’ assembly

Missing 72-year-old man last seen in Langford

Albert Bedard has been missing since Oct. 12

Persons Day celebrates historic achievement of five suffragettes

Landmark case 89 years ago declared women “persons” making them eligible for the Senate

UPDATE: Tent city campers told to leave Oak Bay, given outstanding bill

Police department delivers $1,882 bill for damages from fall of 2017

Victoria elementary students shake it out for earthquake preparedness

Search and Rescue dogs were also on scene to participate in the earthquake drill

B.C. NDP retreats again on empty-home tax for urban areas

Rate reduced for all Canadians, dissident mayors to get annual meeting

Find your future at Black Press career fair in Victoria

More than 70 booths expected at Bay Street Armoury on Oct. 25

B.C. teen gives away tickets to Ellen Degeneres show, plans O Canada welcome

The Grade 9 student wanted to give away tickets in the spirit of inclusivity

POLL: Do you support amalgamation for communities in the Capital Region?

Residents in Victoria and Saanich will be voting on Oct. 20 on… Continue reading

Canada’s top general takes aim at new reports of military sexual assault

Gen. Jonathan Vance is unhappy some troops continue to ignore his order to cease all sexual misconduct

Ignoring climate change poses potential catastrophe for B.C.

Fisheries scientist says ‘extraordinary challenges’ in water management lie ahead

Grow ops left in legal weeds

“I think people are going to get a big surprise that it’s not going to change things much.”

Driving with dope: Police talk rules on cannabis in the car

Even though pot is legal, you can’t smoke in the car

Most Read