Housing advocates say Moncton’s lack of short-term rental legislation is contributing to the dwindling housing supply in Canada’s fastest growing city.
According to a report by city staff, there are nearly 700 short-term rental listings in Moncton.
Seventy-eight per cent of those listings are for an entire home, rather than a room in an owner-occupied dwelling.
“There’s way too many Airbnbs out there already,” Peter Jongeneelen of Acorn NB said on Tuesday.
“These are already contributing a lot to the loss of affordable housing in Moncton as well as throughout the province,” he said.
Coun. Charles Léger has been calling for a permit system to ensure minimum safety standards are met in short-term rental units since April 2023.
This was in response to a deadly fire that occurred in a Montreal Airbnb in March of that year.
Council has been waiting for a provincial report on short-term rentals before proceeding with that legislation for almost a year.
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“The province of New Brunswick committed to taking a look and doing an analysis and they did that and now we’re waiting for the report so it’s sort of in limbo,” said Léger.
At Monday’s council meeting, city staff presented a possible framework for a short-term rental permitting system.
It went beyond Léger’s initial idea of having the units inspected by the fire department for fire safety standards.
The plan highlighted the need to hire three full-time positions, as well as allocate budget to a third-party data monitoring company.
Council tabled the motion, with Mayor Dawn Arnold expressing hesitancy to invest in the framework without knowing what role the province would play.
“The Department of Tourism, Heritage and Culture recently concluded its review of the short-term rental market in New Brunswick,” the province said in a statement.
“Housing NB will use this review to determine next steps and will have more information in the coming months.”
The federal government has invested $50 million to help local governments enforce short-term rental legislation.
The City of Moncton is not eligible to apply for the funding without committing to a plan.
Léger said the idea was for city staff to present another plan to council “within a month.”
Jongeneelen said regulations need to happen sooner rather than later.
Acorn would like to see a joint task force enforcing minimum standards for both long and short-term rentals in the city.
“The province needs to get their act together on housing in general to keep people safe,” Jongeneelen said.
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