City of Tofino Councillors have unanimously approved the mayor’s motion to crack down on illegal bed and breakfast, and short-term nightly rentals.
Tofino Mayor Josie Osborne’s motion says more short-term rentals appears to be contributing to a decreasing supply of long-term rental housing, which may in turn be contributing to higher rents.
She says that’s a big problem in a city that needs labour to service its tourism industry.
“We also need to house the workers who work in these great businesses and every year its getting harder and harder. This year feels like we’re coming up on the hardest year possible.”
Osborne says shot term rentals are already restricted by both zoning and business license bylaws. But she says because of a tight budget enforcement is usually only done on a complaint-based basis.
Today’s motion now directs staff to take a proactive approach to education and enforcement.
Osborne says the city isn’t trying to stop people from participating in services like AirBnB, but is looking to bring them under regulation.
“What that does is create an even playing field for everybody. So for those people that are playing the rules, I think they would all like to see everyone else doing the same.”
She says the move probably won’t do enough to ease the housing crunch, but she says she’s hopeful it will be one tool in the town’s toolbox.
LISTEN: Tofino Mayor Josie Osborne Joins Simi Sara to explain Tofino’s move
With files from Simon Little