Our Coalition



COALITION MEMBERS

 

TORONTO

 

Unite Here Local 75

“The growth of Airbnb and other short-term rental services in Toronto hits our members twice. As Airbnb “ghost hotels” proliferate, workers in regulated hotels will see their hours cut. The removal of thousands of homes and apartments from the traditional housing market makes it more difficult to find decent and affordable housing in the city. Our paycheques will shrink as our housing costs go up. While Airbnb alone didn’t cause Toronto’s housing affordability crisis, it certainly isn’t helping.”

The Federation of Metro Tenants’ Associations

“We have a tight market for rentals in several Canadian cities, and the rental stock has not been growing for the past few decades,” said Geordie Dent of the Metro Federation of Tenants’ Associations. “Online ghost hotels are pulling rental stock out of the housing supply for purely commercial uses, making life harder for Torontonians and others who are struggling to find an affordable rental home. This could nullify the benefits of a number of current initiatives including Federal and Provincial money for housing, Inclusionary Zoning and the Mayor’s TCHC Taskforce.”

 Advocacy Centre for Tenants Ontario (ACTO) 

“Ontario has an affordable housing crisis. Many low-income tenants struggle to find adequate, affordable rentals to call home. Airbnb is making this problem worse by removing rental housing from the market so they can be turned into “hotels” for temporary visitors instead. Airbnb is no longer a simple model for tenants and homeowners to share their extra space. Through the avoidance of taxes and hotel regulations, it has encouraged profit-seekers and professional landlords to enter the short-term rental market. This undermines efforts to provide housing and services to our communities.  If it remains unchallenged, Airbnb will have a lasting impact on the affordable housing stock in our province and across Canada.”

Friends of Kensington Market (FOKM)

“Friends of Kensington Market are very concerned about the increasing concentration of ghost hotels in Kensington Market, with the resultant loss of rental homes and undermining of community.”

Silver Hotel Group

 

ACORN – Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now

“Toronto’s housing market is tight and affordable housing is ever more difficult to find for low and moderate income households. Airbnb and other such websites allow landlords and investors to seek profits above and beyond what the long-term rental market offers. As a result, thousands of units are being taken off the local housing market and offered to visitors and tourists instead, which further reduces housing options to those struggling to meet core housing needs.”

Condominium Owners Association (Ontario)

“We are deeply concerned that AirBnB and transient rentals in general are not regulated or legislated and believe that without any degree of this form of protection, the safety and security within condominiums may be compromised. Condominiums are personal residences and not hotels, the turnover rate involved with transient rentals affects the operations, operational expenses and value of condominium corporations. The added wear and tear on common elements is a deep concern, contribution levels on reserve funds may not be adequate. We stand behind strong, healthy condominium communities and look forward to proper implementation of regulation and legislation on all aspect to protect Condo Owners.”

The City Institute at York University

“The City Institute at York University (CITY) has joined the Fairbnb coalition in order to help address the various socio-economic implications that short-term rental accommodation services pose to Toronto. CITY is particularly concerned with the impacts that they have upon local housing markets, the availability of affordable housing, and the quality of life in residential neighbourhoods. Like our Fairbnb coalition partners, we too are committed to informing the development of effective urban policy to regulate temporary accommodation services in Toronto.”

Shannon Devine, Ontario Federation of Labour

“I am deeply concerned about the implications of the sharing economy and what they mean for the quality of work. While the idea of ‘sharing’ is nice, employment within this kind of framework is increasingly precarious.”

Brian Kellowb, Bleecker Street resident

“On our street we have seen almost half of the houses on one side of the street purchased by one owner. Houses that now lie empty and dark half the week and then are host to dozens of party goers every weekend. These illegal hotels are replacing housing for families, creating a whole new class of precarious housing and the only contribution they make is piles of trash, noise and the occasional tour-bus that now blocks are street as partiers unload.”

Jan Coles, Bleecker Street resident

“We have had terrible experiences with the illegal hotels operating on Bleecker Street. Our friendly neighbourhood has been torn apart as properties have been bought up and rented out to large, rowdy groups of people – with no mechanism for complaint or oversight.”

Vickie Trottier, Fort York Residents Association

 

Steven Tufts, Associate Professor, Geography, York University

“Fairbnb is the beginning of a movement to take back our economy and our communities. It’s about recognizing that specific commercial activities simply don’t work everywhere in the city. Developing commercial accommodation by stealth in residential areas destroys the very neighbourhoods that draw people to Toronto in the first place.”

OTTAWA

 

Canadians for Tax Fairness

“We need to stand up against multinationals that pay no taxes – simply because they sell us goods and services online. We need to stand up for Canadian businesses and industries that face unfair competition. We need to stand up for tax justice.”

Ottawa Gatineau Hotel Association

“With such rapid growth of the Airbnb platform around the world, it is vital that communities understand the impact short term rentals have on neighbourhoods, the availability of affordable housing, the tourism industry and taxation. In spite of the rhetoric, Airbnb demonstrates time and time again they are unwilling to accept equitable solutions and are not interested in complying with current regulations or local laws. Therefore, it is incumbent on governments to regulate individuals that choose to enter into this business by means of a licence. Further, it should be made mandatory that platforms are responsible for enforcing the rules upon their advertised hosts to ensure that all residents can continue to experience the quiet enjoyment of their homes.”

 

VANCOUVER

 

Unite Here! Local 40

“As Vancouver, Victoria, and other BC municipalities face severe housing crises, short-term rental platforms like AirBnB take precious units out of the housing market, and make it harder for our members to find affordable places to live. Meanwhile, hotel workers are likely to face increased job insecurity as commercial hosts and unregulated, “ghost hotels” continue to spread in municipalities across BC.”

Tenant Resource & Advisory Centre (TRAC)

“As an organization that promotes the legal protection of residential tenants, TRAC is extremely concerned with how short-term rentals are exacerbating BC’s rental housing crisis. Regulations must be in place to prioritize tenants over tourists, and preserve our province’s long-term rental housing. Like other major cities across the world, it’s time for Vancouver to implement enforcement strategies that improve the accountability of Airbnb and other similar platforms.”

Generation Squeeze

“Our economy fails when home prices leave behind the earnings of younger Canadians, as is the case in so many parts of Canada now.  Our country needs a comprehensive housing plan that reduces harmful demand, stimulates a surge in supply, and taxes housing wealth fairly.  Regulating short-term rentals and restricting them to people’s primary residences is an important part of the solution.  Mayors and Staff in cities like Toronto and Vancouver are on track in their efforts to discourage real estate investors who use their units for short-term tourists rather than long-term residents.  But we still need the Cities’ regulatory frameworks to make platforms like AirBnB legally accountable to enforce the new rules.

Homes Not Hotels – No Airbnb 

Homes Not Hotels – No Airbnb is a Facebook group that speaks up against Airbnb-style businesses in our residential, multi-unit rental and condo housing. We believe so-called “short-term rentals” in our shared buildings depletes housing, raises rents, degrades safety and security, and enables illegal accommodation for tourists in buildings intended for tenants.

City of Vancouver Bylaw 10.21.6 currently reads: “No person shall use or permit to be used any dwelling unit for a period of less than one month unless such unit forms part of a hotel or is used for bed and breakfast accommodation.”

Accordingly, when a suite in a shared residential building (apartment, high-rise, condo, and strata) is advertised as available to rent for less than 30 days on websites such as Airbnb.com, the owner, renter or agent is permitting that suite to be used as a hotel. Not only does this reduce the number of affordable apartments available in Vancouver, it is against the law.

Online and in person, Homes Not Hotels – No Airbnb connects with equally-passionate groups around the world to relay stories of the Airbnb contagion from Vancouver and beyond.

 

Mole Hill Community Housing Society

 

Landlord BC

“As the professional association representing the providers of long term-rental housing for British Columbians, we are extremely concerned about the negative impact short-term rentals, and the platforms that facilitate their propagation, are having on the long-term rental housing supply.  We are especially disturbed by the existence of so-called “property managers” who are simply aggregators of units for short-term rental. Enforcement of any proposed regulations will be a challenge without platform accountability.  We understand and appreciate that this is a complex issue and applaud all the cities and municipalities who are tackling this critical problem. LandlordBC’s goal is to support their efforts.”

 

Vancouver Tenants Union

“AirBnB and other STR providers are reducing the availability and affordability of long term rental stock in Vancouver, exacerbating the effects of the housing crisis. Tenants and the public at large are left to bear the consequences of the housing crisis while STR companies profit – without even so much as paying taxes. The Vancouver Tenants Union supports FairBnb’s proposed model of platform regulation. Effective regulation is needed in order to put an end to the current perverse incentive for property owners to turn over long term rental stock to the STR market, and to bring some relief to renters in Vancouver.”

 

Downtown Eastside SRO Collaborative

“We help tenants to fight displacement in 5000 single room residential hotels in the Downtown Eastside.  It is illegal for landlords to use these rooms for Airbnb but we know of cases where it was happening.  It is really important that the burden of reporting and regulating doesn’t fall solely on the shoulders of community groups like ours and the City of Vancouver.  Airbnb must be held accountable and be responsible for the abuses that lead to the loss of our precious low-income rental housing stock. We’re in a housing crisis and we need every room that we can get.”

 

Bed&Breakfast Innkeepers Guild

“As an organization we feel issues caused by Short Term Vacation Rentals (STRs) powered by global technology companies necessitates the need to move forward on the process of “levelling the playing field”, by having all STRs be  licensed, insured and inspected in all communities in BC. For the guest and house owner’s sake, regulations are critical, including the disclosure of the physical  property address. These short term rental platforms are diluting the meaning of Bed & Breakfast  and the Bed and Breakfast experience. Our members are frustrated by the fact that we follow the rules, pay the fees and get licensed, and follow the local bylaws and tax laws, while the STRs do not.”

WATERLOO

 

Tom Slee, writer and Airbnb data analyst

“Tourist destinations around the world have found that unrestricted growth of Airbnb listings damages popular neighbourhoods. Now some cities are pushing back, making Airbnb take responsibility for its business and limiting its intensity. Toronto needs to join these cities and stand up for democratic government against unaccountable companies which have no stake in the future of this city.”

 

CONCERNED ORGANIZATIONS

 

We have also consulted the following organizations on Airbnb policy issues. They have provided statements summarizing their own concerns about Airbnb, and we quote them with permission:

 

Liberty Village Residents’ Association

“The Liberty Village Residents’ Association is the largest RA in the world with over 8000 members and growing. Currently representing more than 18 different condominiums with more than $3 billion in value, it is very concerned that the lack of regulation around AirBnB in condominiums creates unanticipated problems, large extra expenses for other owners and a significant decline in the value of people’s homes and quality of life. Proper regulation and tax reporting of this otherwise excellent platform is necessary to ensure homes stay homes and condos don’t become hotels – further exacerbating an already short supply of housing and rental stock in Toronto.”

Federation of Rental Housing Providers of Ontario

“The rental of a room on a nightly basis by the tenant constitutes the running of a commercial business out of a residential property. In many cases lease agreements specifically prohibit this type of commercial activity. The rental housing provider, as the owner of the property, could face enforcement measures including fines by the local municipality should there be a breach of a local by-law…Property owners/managers are obligated by legislation to protect the reasonable enjoyment of the property for all tenants in the building.”

Federation of Ontario Bed & Breakfast Accommodation (FOBBA)

“FOBBA believes that all forms of short-term accommodation should be subject to minimum requirements to ensure the protection of the guest, the guest experience, and respect of the neighbours and the local community. Hosted B&Bs comply with local bylaws and association standards in order to address these requirements. We are concerned with non-compliance by operators marketing unhosted accommodations as B&Bs and not meeting operating standards.”

West Harbour City 2 (TSCC2163)

“The Board of Directors of West Harbour City’s condo corporation works to ensure that the declaration and rules are adhered to, and this includes ensuring that requirements around leasing of units are met and that all residents in our building have updated information on file. Not only does short-term rentals for Airbnb- type accommodations violate the terms of our declaration and our rules, it can also result in security concerns with keys and access fobs being given to unregistered residents.”



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