Calls for emergency legislation to limit short-term leases on sites like Airbnb

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Amid a housing crisis that has people checking social media posts daily in search of a house or apartment to rent, there are currently 733 short-term rentals available to holidaymakers in across the county on Airbnb.

On the Daft.ie property rental website, Co Wexford currently has just 21 properties for rent, meaning there are around 35 times as many properties available on Airbnb catering to visitors, while local families are find themselves in horrible positions with nowhere to go.

In the town of Wexford there are currently only four properties currently available for rental. On Airbnb, there are 417 properties available at a rate per night.

It’s a pattern repeated in all our major cities. In Gorey there are five properties for rent against 143 Airbnbs, New Ross has four for rent with 172 Airbnbs and Enniscorthy has a solitary property for rent with 18 Airbnb stays listed.

While the number of properties offered for rent online seems to be dropping all the time, as the summer months approach, the number of short-term stays on Airbnb continues to increase.

TD Labor veteran Brendan Howlin is a firm believer that things have rarely been so bad and that action is urgently needed.

“First of all, I strongly believe that we really have to accept that this is a housing emergency,” he said. I can’t find anywhere to rent. Clearly, building homes is the solution, but in the short term, we need to recognize the magnitude of this crisis and any commendable property needs to be reintroduced to the housing market.

Referring to the number of short-term rentals currently listed on Airbnb, Deputy Howlin is calling for emergency legislation to reverse the trend.

“We need legislation to limit short-term leases and give local authorities a level of control over this,” he said. “It is a state of emergency. We must take steps to ensure that accommodation for families in need comes before short-term rentals for people on weekends or holidays.

“Unfortunately it seems that people offering properties for short term rental are earning a lot more, but that shouldn’t be the case. There is currently a more than decent profit to be made on rents. In fact, rents being currently ordered are actually beyond the reach of most workers.

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