Rental rebate funded by Airbnb fines to help renters facing 4.5% increase

The 4.5% allowable rent increase for 2019 announced by the BC government will hit Vancouver renters hard. I pledge to offer Vancouver’s renters a rental rebate financed by Airbnb fines. Such a move would help rental households without burdening either the Vancouver taxpayers or our city’s landlords.

The latest Airbnb scan I conducted last night detected 3,480 violations of the short term rental bylaws. By fining these violations at $1,000 per day for just 30 days, we can collect $104M. That’s $104 million in the rental affordability fund.

Total Airbnb Listings 4066
Duplicate Licences 1065
Dubious Exemptions 195
Obviously Fake 60
Inocrrect License Type 165
Hosts with multiple units 1995
Total violations 3480
Fines collected ($1,000 * 30 days) $104,400,000
Total rental households in Vancouver 136,135
Rebate per household $767
Median 2 BR rent in Vancouver1)http://quantitativerhetoric.com/monthly-rental-report-august-2018.html $2,700
Annual increase $ amount at 4.5% $1,458
After rebate $691
Effective increase after rebate 2.13%

There are 136,135 rental households in Vancouver2)https://vancouver.ca/files/cov/housing-characteristics-fact-sheet.pdf. If we spread the $104 million equally, each current rental household will receive $767 a rental rebate. With the rebate, the effective increase for median Vancouver renter of a two bedroom will go down to just 2.13%.

While a rent freeze sounds great on paper, such a move would act as a disincentive to potential landlords, and could cause a further reduction in our already dangerously low vacancy rate. The rental affordability fund, on the other hand, helps renters without hurting landlords.

Airbnb and other short term rental platforms have been responsible for falling vacancy rates and rising rents. It’s only fitting that we target Airbnb violators to fund rental affordability.

I believe Vancouver should take care of those who take care of our city and our citizens. I dream of a place where those who contribute to our communities are able to afford to live in the city. I’m running for city councillor to see that dream come true. Please help me by donating and volunteering to my campaign.

References   [ + ]

1. http://quantitativerhetoric.com/monthly-rental-report-august-2018.html
2. https://vancouver.ca/files/cov/housing-characteristics-fact-sheet.pdf

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