May 9th, 2017 by

Staff investigating County home-sharing sector

County resident Angus Ross asks the committee of the whole to strike a task force to study the impact of the home-sharers on Thursday April 27, 2017. (Photo: Nicole Kleinsteuber / Quinte News)

Prince Edward County has given staff the go ahead to look at the impacts of home-sharing services like Airbnb and vacation home rentals.

With no discussion, on Tuesday night council approved staff going ahead and creating a report that investigates the impacts of the sharing economy in the accommodation sector in the County to address opportunities and challenges in this growing sector.

At an April 27, committee of the whole meeting, resident Angus Ross requested the County look into ways to control the home-sharing sector and potentially tax investors as a way to generate more revenue from tourism.  At that time, Ross said The County is both benefiting from and being adversely affected by home-shares activities.

“Long-term renters are being forced to look for alternative rental space and sometimes have to move out of the County and away from friends and their known community,” Ross told the committee. “I have heard of people turned out of their apartments which then go on the holiday market. While local stores benefit from the influx of tourists in the summer, the number of houses and apartments being left vacant in the winter is growing, further reducing purchasing in the off season.”

Mayor Robert Quaiff said he doesn’t expect a report to come forward quickly as ‘there are many working components to it.’