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Feds applaud B.C. moves to limit short-term rentals

Freeland considering federal action after B.C. announces crackdown
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland arrives to hold a press conference in the National Press Theatre in Ottawa on Thursday, Oct. 5, 2023. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland is applauding the B.C. government for going after short-term rentals and says the federal government is looking at what it can do on the issue as well.

The B.C. government has introduced new legislation that involves forcing those who offer short-term accommodation to actually live on the property, NDP Premier David Eby told a news conference on Monday.

Eby said the government is also set to increase fines for short-term rental operators who break municipal bylaws and will require short-term rental platforms to share data with the province for enforcement and tax purposes.

“This is a positive and important step in the right direction in an area of provincial jurisdiction,” Freeland said in a news conference on Tuesday.

“We know that short-term rentals through sites like Airbnb and VRBO mean fewer homes for Canadians to rent and live in full time, especially in urban and populated areas of our country.”

She said her government is looking at what can be done at the federal level to ensure more short-term rentals are made available as long-term rentals.

The finance minister said this is part the government’s efforts to address the housing shortage in both the immediate and medium terms.

“We really do understand that housing is a very challenging issue for Canadians,” Freeland said.

“We are looking around and are saying, ‘What can we do right away that makes more homes available for Canadians?’ And … short-term rental is one of those spaces.”

READ ALSO: Province to limit short-term rentals in some B.C. communities, but not all

READ ALSO: Housing-starved communities call short-term rental changes a good start