There’s a tug-of-war happening between folks who live in Cumberland and folks who want to make money off of visitors.
There are currently 62 active listings for Airbnb-type rentals in town, but most don’t have a license.
“We possibly have about 42 that are non-compliant,” senior planner Karin Albert told Cumberland’s council this month.
All while Cumberland’s housing market is hotter than most communities in the region. Are people buying homes in the village just to make money off Airbnb?
Maurice Primeau is the BC Assessment Authority’s deputy assessor for the region. Earlier in June, he told council that the village is “sort of like a Whistler of Vancouver Island.”
But one of Whistler’s biggest challenges is that regular folks have trouble affording living costs. What happens when the mountain bikers who built this awesome community can’t afford to live in mountain bike paradise?
We can’t be free unless we have a place to live. If you live in Cumberland, this is affecting you. And you can have your say.
On July 6th, council will host a public hearing on a proposed zoning bylaw that would limit unregulated short-term rentals like Airbnb.
The bylaw would create a framework for short-term renting and ensure housing levels are stable for folks who want to be long-term renters in the village.
Cumberland isn’t the only place that’s tackling short-term rentals.
As it stands, online subletting platforms like Airbnb don’t have to share data on their properties with local governments. It means local governments like Cumberland’s council have to guess how many Airbnbs are in their community.
The province may create a new law that would require them to share the data. That data would make regulating the industry far simpler.
Cumberland Mayor Leslie Baird told council she thinks most people subletting without licenses know exactly what they’re doing, and it’s time to crack down.
“They still continue to do it, so I think we will be doing some enforcement,” she said.
Village staff have already asked folks for their input, and they’ve prioritized people with rental properties.
We’re in a housing crisis, but it’s fixable. If you think more focus should be on residents, join the public council meeting on Wednesday, July 6th at 7 p.m. in Cumberland’s council chambers.