Letter: Airbnb policy spitting in the face of affordable housing

The city then will have less money to build affordable housing.

To the editor:

Thank you to Coun. Ryan Donn and Coun. Charlie Hodge for your votes against the motion for the proposed regulations and licensing for short-term rentals.

As you stated, the regulations are too restrictive and the licence fee is way too high for many of these senior owned microbusinesses.

I am also pleased to see that Mayor Colin Basran said he recognizes the need for short-term rentals. Coun. Loyal Wooldridge was happy to see the three per cent tax charged by the province on Airbnb rentals coming to the city for affordable housing.

If the short-term rental proposal is implemented then that three per cent tax will be drastically reduced with fewer Airbnb rentals available. The city then will have less money to build affordable housing. So in effect, the city is cutting off its nose to spite its face.

The loss of millions of tourist dollars caused by this proposal should also be of deep concern to the city, Tourism Kelowna, Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association and Destination BC. Kelowna’s tourism dollars generate more than 8,000 jobs and bring in more than $1 billion dollars each year. Why would we want to turn away those very visitors who want to spend an average of almost $205 a day in our community just because they want an Airbnb experience?

It makes no economic or common sense.

Marilyn Strong

Kelowna

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