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More than 3,700 homes lost to short-term rentals across the province, Halifax group finds

Support workers say housing crisis is worsened by rise of holiday rentals

More than 3,700 homes in Nova Scotia aren’t available to families seeking permanent housing because they are listed as short-term vacation rentals, according to research by a Halifax community group.

Neighbours Speak Up compiled data from the Government of Nova Scotia’s short-term accommodations registry — as well as short-term rental data analytics website AirDNA, which gathers numbers from travel websites VRBO and Airbnb — and found there are 3,792 such rentals in the province listed as an “entire home.”

“The important fact here is these are secondary homes that could be used for housing, given our present situation,” said Bill Stewart, spokesperson for Neighbours Speak Up. “[They] have been used for short-term purposes. And we think even a portion of those would help many people deal with the housing situation.”

South Shore housing advocate Kristi Tibbo says she sees the “profound impact” of the relatively new vacation rental sector in communities like Lunenburg, Chester and Mahone Bay. …[Read More]