How did the communities balance the availability of housing vs short term rentals, bylaw enforcement costs vs revenue from OAP/MRDT?

Will add responses when received from other municipalities.

Resort Municipality of Sun Peaks

Sun Peaks allows short term rentals in all Tourist Accommodation zoned areas which is primarily condo/townhouse complexes as well as through a Temporary Use Permit application process that allows up to 25% of any individual single family resident neighbourhoods to rent short term. Business license costs have recently been raised to cover the costs of a third party software program that will automate much of the complaint process and monitoring of advertising to ensure compliance with zoning and business license requirements. 

District of Sicamous

Part 1: The first step in balancing the availability of housing with short term rentals is understanding the impact of short term rentals on housing supply. This means that local governments need access to data that isn't made readily available - a recommendation of the District's housing strategy is to support UBCM's call to action in this regard. In the meantime, regulation through a municipalities ability to issue business licences is the principle way to collect this information. The District implemented regulations through its zoning bylaw and business licencing bylaw early 2023.

Part 2: Bylaw Enforcement is a service for which the cost of is reflected in our business licencing fees for short term rentals. Part of the District’s housing strategy contemplates implementation of a BON system, which requires partnering with regional local governments to establish. This was already being contemplated and could be a significant enforcement tool that may be necessary to use.

Part 3: MRDT is a municipal sales tax on tourist accommodations, including short term rentals. Currently, the District participates in MRDT at 2%. Since implementation of regulations for short term rentals, the District has seen a significant increase in these funds. These funds can only be used to support tourism, however, with the support of accommodation providers, can contribute an additional 1% to a specific housing project. The District's housing strategy recommends exploring this with accommodation providers at the end of the current agreement and hopes to find support for one of the District's partner projects.

District of Tofino

STR bylaws are under review – currently STR bylaws have numerous restrictions and requirements – licensing fees are quite high in order to cover costs of enforcement. OAP has been covering many costs. There is a future possibility more MRDT may be transferred to affordable housing, though that would take stakeholder discussion and agreement. 

Whistler Housing Authority

We allocate the revenue received from OAP/MRDT – 50% to Tourism Whistler promoting and supporting a thriving tourism market in Whistler, and 50% towards the creation of long term affordable employee housing for the community’s workforce. 

Show All Answers

1. In your opinion, what overall effect do short term rentals have on the community's affordable housing markets?
2. How much of Revelstoke's housing issue is a missing middle problem? What approaches are being considered to address these housing gaps? (Low vs median income)
3. How do we regulate vacation home buyers inflating the real estate market? Is it possible to enact zoning restrictions in some areas to primary home buyers only?
4. Why not more mobile home parks?
5. How much is Whistler’s cash in leu for housing? Is it a flat fee or based on different metrics?
6. With employee housing, what happens if an employee loses their job or want to leave a job. Are they homeless?
7. If Whistler took 30 years to mature, how can we do something in 10 years or less without crashing in the process? What can be adopted now to get us started?
8. For each of the speakers who are sharing details of a well-funded housing organization; where would your community be without that dedicated housing entity?
9. What is the status of the BC housing project on Downie Street? What can be done to bring this to reality sooner?
10. WHA : can you expand on how affordability is maintained in perpetuity? Does WHA retain an equity share?
11. We need to develop micro-home communities in town and in the CSRD. Problem solved.
12. What consideration has been given to how gig economy workers with often fluctuating annual incomes fit into qualifying parameters for affordable housing?
13. How are you, as a Resort Community, leveraging OAP/MRDT taxes for affordable housing? Tools, models ?
14. What kind of anti affordable housing campaigning is Tofino experiencing and why? How are you handling this?
15. What can the tourism industry, which is driving up costs, do better to support affordable housing?
16. Can prefab/modular home construction play a role in affordable housing in Revelstoke?
17. How do you protect against base population displacement?
18. How did the communities balance the availability of housing vs short term rentals, bylaw enforcement costs vs revenue from OAP/MRDT?
19. For Al - Like Revelstoke , Sun Peaks is neighboured by resort land. Does the resort operator have a supportive role in creating affordable housing? If so, how?
20. Have any of the communities looked at infill density? (Carriage houses, zoning to allow for tiny homes in back yards etc) any success stories using that model?
21. Have age demographics been factored into future housing needs? A lot of baby boomers will be looking to downsize into the same type of units that younger
22. What do all of your organizations require from developers when they develop in your town? Ie cash in lieu, units etc ? How many/ how much?
23. Is it possible that we may never get ahead of the housing issue because so many people want to live in Revelstoke?
24. Has the city considered approaching the rail yard about building a multi level parking structure to free up city lots downtown for infill development?
25. Can we get actual action rather than lip service from our municipal government? Or should we expect similar results to our updated DCC’s?
26. Is there an opportunity to reduce DCC fees for the first X number of accessory dwellings developed in Revelstoke to promote faster development?
27. Would Revelstoke consider a speculation and vacancy tax to combat housing infrastructure sitting empty and help reduce market pressures from second homeowners?
28. Do your municipalities have issues with a lack of willing developers?
29. Instead of wanting to ban tiny houses and motor home, why can't we provide quality and safe version? For example having standards and inspections.
30. Paul mentioned the risk of developers turning their backs on us due to high development costs - why not try to push the limit? We are far from it.