New Brunswick Housing Minister Pledges Task Force on Short-Term Rentals

CEO Khai Intela
Are you one of those who love to travel and explore new destinations? If so, you've probably utilized short-term rentals through platforms like Airbnb. These rentals offer a unique and personalized experience for travelers. However,...

Are you one of those who love to travel and explore new destinations? If so, you've probably utilized short-term rentals through platforms like Airbnb. These rentals offer a unique and personalized experience for travelers. However, regulating this booming industry has become a concern in many regions, including New Brunswick, Canada.

At a recent meeting with mayors, New Brunswick's housing minister, Jill Green, pledged to create a task force specifically focused on regulating short-term rentals. The topic was discussed during a gathering in Fredericton to address housing-related matters. Mayor Dawn Arnold of Moncton revealed that the minister highlighted the significance of short-term rentals in the province, stating that approximately 0.7 percent of the housing stock, or 3,400 units, are utilized for this purpose. While this may not seem like a significant number from a provincial perspective, it is indeed a big deal for cities like Saint John, Fredericton, Moncton, and Saint Andrews.

The commitment made by Minister Green is aimed at bringing together the province and municipalities to develop appropriate regulations for short-term rentals. The task force, expected to launch by mid-March, will focus on ensuring safety, proper taxation, appropriate zoning, and effective inspections. This initiative intends to strike a balance between responsible tourism and housing requirements.

The province's spokesperson, Kate Wright, confirmed the minister's commitment to establishing a group to examine short-term rentals. However, the statement did not provide a timeline for the completion of the group's work. It is worth noting that this effort differs from a previous review conducted by the Department of Tourism, Heritage, and Culture, which primarily approached short-term rentals from a tourism perspective. Mayor Arnold believes that the current initiative provides a clearer direction and a comprehensive approach to the issue.

For Moncton Coun. Charles Léger, the housing minister's commitment is a welcome one. Léger had previously introduced a motion to implement safety and inspection rules for short-term rentals in Moncton following a tragic incident at an Airbnb in Montreal. However, the city council has been waiting to see what actions the province would take before making a decision. This recent pledge brings hope for progress in establishing regulations for short-term rentals.

Municipal staff shared that as of January, there were 691 short-term rental listings in Moncton, with the majority being offered through Airbnb. Among these listings, 538 were for renting an entire home, while 153 were private rooms within dwellings. Léger highlighted that other provinces and cities have already implemented regulations for short-term rentals, providing potential approaches that New Brunswick could adopt. With willingness and collaboration, it is possible to swiftly enact new regulations in the province.

The image below captures the moment when Mayor Dawn Arnold and Minister Jill Green met during the meeting in Fredericton:

Mayor Dawn Arnold and Minister Jill Green Mayor Dawn Arnold, right, says she believes the city needs short-term rental rules but wants a provincewide approach. (Image Source: Shane Magee/CBC)

In conclusion, the commitment by New Brunswick's housing minister to establish a task force on short-term rentals demonstrates the government's dedication to address the concerns surrounding this industry. By bringing together various stakeholders, the province aims to strike a balance between supporting tourism and ensuring responsible and regulated short-term rental practices. The task force's work is anticipated to provide valuable insights and recommendations for future regulations. With these efforts, New Brunswick can pave the way for a sustainable and thriving short-term rental market.

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