Canada’s quest to turn Airbnb getaways into long-term stays. The Housing Minister Sean Fraser said on Monday the federal government is considering a series of measures to curb the number of Airbnb and other short-term rental units on offer to boost the supply of homes available to rent for a longer stretch.
Fraser said a crackdown on the spread of these units is part of a broader Liberal government plan to help build and finance more housing units to deal with an acute shortage of affordable homes.
The fall economic statement, set to be tabled today, is expected to include billions of dollars’ worth of new measures to help Canada cope with a severe housing crisis, including low-cost loans for home construction.
Mr. Fraser said there’s another way to address the supply crunch: make existing properties tied up on short-term rental platforms available to prospective long-term renters and buyers.
“We believe there’s likely tens of thousands of homes that could be made available to Canadians by addressing this particular challenge. Airbnb units, which typically are rented out a few nights at a time to travelers. Will be given out for long term.
“If there’s tens of thousands of units we can turn into not a competitor for a hotel for a few nights but a home for a family in a community, it’s obligatory on us to do everything we can to use those properties for homes.
Fraser said Ottawa could use its taxation powers to make owning an Airbnb less lucrative to “bring on new pockets of supply.”
The government’s theory is that if it’s less financially advantageous to put a property up for rent on a platform like Airbnb or VRBO, many owners will instead sell their units or rent them out for longer stretches to locals and newcomers.
“We do have the authority to make changes through the federal system of taxation,” he said. “This is one of the areas we’re looking at.”
Fraser also said B.C.’s recent overhaul of the short-term rental market may be something to emulate elsewhere.
Under B.C.’s new law, short-term rentals that aren’t in an operator’s principal residence will soon be banned outright — a restriction that will take thousands of units off vacation rental platforms.
People or companies with multiple Airbnbs will have to list them for long-term rentals or face an heavy fine of $3,000 a day.
A recent McGill University report found there were 28,510 short-term rental listings active each day in B.C. alone in June 2023.
Source: CBC News.
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