Short-term rentals and housing affordability in Canada


The purpose of this session is to explore the relationship between short-term rentals (STRs) and the housing crisis in Canadian cities. I begin by discussing the structure of Canada’s housing system, with an emphasis on its international status as an extreme market-oriented outlier, and the three-decade history of higher levels of government downloading social service responsibilities onto municipalities. I outline several reasons why the housing market systematically fails to meet the needs of the most vulnerable Canadians, and why it is increasingly failing to meet the needs of middle-class families as well. Then I explain the contribution that the explosive growth in Airbnb and other STR platforms has made to the housing crisis in Canada, discussing national growth trends in STRs, how STR revenue is distributed, and how much long-term housing STRs are responsible for taking off the market. I conclude by discussing possible regulatory responses.

Jun 1, 2019 2:30 PM — 4:00 PM
Québec City, Québec
David Wachsmuth
Canada Research Chair in Urban Governance

My research interests include urban governance, local sustainability, and the impact of short-term rentals on housing markets.