More than 3,700 homes lost to short-term rentals across the province, Halifax group finds


More than 3,700 homes in Nova Scotia aren’t obtainable to households looking for everlasting housing as a result of they’re listed as short-term trip rentals, in accordance to analysis by a Halifax group group.

Neighbours Speak Up compiled knowledge from the Government of Nova Scotia’s short-term lodging registry — in addition to short-term rental knowledge analytics web site AirDNA, which gathers numbers from journey web sites VRBO and Airbnb — and located there are 3,792 such rentals in the province listed as an “total residence.” 

“The vital truth right here is these are secondary homes that might be used for housing, given our current state of affairs,” mentioned Bill Stewart, spokesperson for Neighbours Speak Up. “[They] have been used for short-term functions. And we predict even a portion of these would assist many individuals cope with the housing state of affairs.”

South Shore housing advocate Kristi Tibbo says she sees the “profound impression” of the comparatively new trip rental sector in communities like Lunenburg, Chester and Mahone Bay.

“This housing stock is being taken away from native households [who want] to buy homes that they want to keep in and develop their household. The pricing for one is a whole lot of instances unattainable,” mentioned Tibbo, an intensive case supervisor with the South Shore Open Doors Association. 

At situation is housing that is been taken off the native market as a result of house owners can acquire greater costs from vacationers.

“Then we’re additionally seeing a rental hike, which suggests in fact different unbiased landlords are going to be seeing [higher] costs can be found and that individuals are grabbing them, so that you’re seeing different landlords wanting to additionally enhance their rents.

“It is having traumatic results on households, disrupting the group, impacting I’d say all elements of well being, psychological well being, bodily well being.”

Kristi Tibbo, a case supervisor with the South Shore Open Doors Association, says short-term trip rental items are typically obtainable in the low season, however solely on six-month leases. (Submitted by Kristi Tibbo)

Back in the provincial capital, Halifax Regional Municipality now has a emptiness charge of 1 per cent, and has extra than 2,000 short-term rentals, together with 1,630 “total homes,” round half of which have between two and 5 bedrooms, in accordance to Neighbours Speak Up.

That’s extra than doubled in recent times. A 2019 report from the Urban Politics and Governance analysis group at McGill University famous there have been 740 total residence short-term rentals in Halifax. 

In April, Tourism Minister Pat Dunn launched an modification to the Tourist Accommodation Registration Act that might finish exemptions and require all short-term rentals to be registered. 

At the time, Dunn mentioned the authorities’s lack of correct knowledge about the quantity and site of short-term rentals has been a supply of frustration for municipalities, a few of which try to regulate them by means of zoning and planning bylaws.

But extra than six months later, laws haven’t but been developed and the act hasn’t develop into legislation. According to the provincial Department of Communities, Culture, Tourism and Heritage, officers are working to carry the amendments into drive and replace laws.

“The province is approaching short-term rentals in a means that considers the present housing disaster and the want to assist tourism development and restoration,” mentioned division spokesperson Chad Lucas in a press release. “Amendments made to laws final spring (Bill 154) will be certain that the Tourist Accommodations Registry will present the knowledge wanted to assist tourism planning, whereas giving municipalities the info they want to implement their by-laws to regulate short-term rentals.”

Neighbours Speak Up says this delay is hindering progress. 

“And in the meantime, municipalities are helpless to actually transfer a lot additional down the highway to addressing this downside,” Stewart mentioned. “I actually need to see the authorities carry of their laws and proclaim the Act as quickly as doable.”

Stewart mentioned although the authorities is targeted on constructing extra housing, it also needs to be the current housing stock. 

“[Some of these homes] may actually home households of two to 5 or extra, and there is additionally a considerable variety of one-bedroom homes that might be used, so I believe you’ll be able to see that there is actually some potential right here,” Stewart mentioned. “With the implementation of laws, we are able to really unlock some homes right here for folks.”

Safety issues

Laura Dobson has lived on Braeside Court in Dartmouth for shut to 30 years, however has not too long ago watched short-term rentals pop up in her space. On the Airbnb web site there are two listings proven on or close to her avenue. 

A person was discovered useless inside this residence on Braeside Court in Dartmouth in November 2021. (Nicola Seguin/CBC)

Last fall, a person was shot and killed in one in every of the Airbnbs on her cul-de-sac. 

Dobson mentioned she felt “a mixture of raging and frightened” when she came upon. 

“[This neighbourhood] has been a cheerful place. Now, it is a jittery place,” she mentioned. “What we now have here’s a residential avenue with residential zoning getting used for business use with no supervision, no entrance desk. It’s not at the same time as secure as dwelling subsequent to a lodge as a result of there is no such thing as a night time watchman, there’s nothing.”

Dobson mentioned the nameless nature of Airbnbs makes her nervous, in addition to the incontrovertible fact that rentals may be owned by an organization or by individuals who reside exterior the metropolis. 



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