COPE Galway have said that Airbnb is contributing to keeping people homeless in Galway.
The charity group says that rental properties being used for Airbnb need to be made available to address the shortfall in long-term housing for families and individuals.
COPE points to a Daft.ie Insights report which says that half of all rental properties in Dublin are now only available for short-term letting by tourists, and says that “an even more stark” situation applies in Galway.
Martin O’Connor, spokesperson for COPE says the government should discourage people from using homes for Airbnb full-time.
“This is a situation the government are in a position to tackle if they are serious about addressing the current homelessness crisis that so many families and individuals are experiencing.
“The introduction of measures to disincentivise the full-time use of homes for Airbnb purposes and the enforcement of planning laws already on the statute books are measures government can take now.”
According to COPE, last Wednesday there were a total of 2,212 active Airbnb rentals across Galway city and county. 52% of those were entire homes, and 38% were available for letting full-time according information from AirDNA.
On the same day there were just 118 rental properties available on Daft.ie for all of Galway city and county.
“You have the ironic situation of tourists living in homes while people without homes are having to live in B&Bs and hotels” said Martin O’Connor.
“While we understand that revenue from Air BnB is an important source of income for struggling homeowners, our concern is that accommodation which is available all year round and in the form of entire homes, is accommodation taken out of the rental market.
“Measures need to be introduced such as those introduced in London to ensure whole homes are not available on the Air BnB market full time, but still allow for people to rent out their accommodation for a certain number of days a year.”