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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

Airbnbs and Short Lets to be probed by new housing commission

A team of experts will look into the impact ofd Airbnbs and other short lets in a part of the UK with an acute housing shortage.

The Devon Housing Commission, which is made up of experts, councillors, and parliamentarians, have been tasked with making a strong case to present to the government on how to approach issues such as homelessness, affordability and second homes.

Lord Richard Best, commission chair, says: "By bringing together those with a major role across the county the commission will be a powerful voice for the importance of good quality housing for health and the economy.

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"The commission will allow us to fully understand the origins of current pressures and look for innovative solutions from collective local action or significant policy change."

On the agenda of issues to investigate will be the impact of Airbnbs and other short lets in the popular tourist county.

The commission is being funded by the University of Exeter and local authorities across Devon, Plymouth, and Torbay. 

In 2021 the Devon County Council claimed rising house prices and a lack of rental properties in the area had resulted in a housing emergency. 

Now the commission, according to the University of Exeter, is set to seek views from communities in Devon which will help inform the case it makes to the government: in particular this will focus on an alleged shortage of appropriate homes plus the challenges of bodies delivered housing in rural communities whilst protecting the environment.

Councillor Mandy Ewings, leader of West Devon Borough Council and chair of the Devon Housing Task Force, which created the commission, said the new plan was a ‘real opportunity’ to bring together people and expertise.

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  • icon

    Let's spend lots of money on a commission to tell us what we already know! The affordability crisis in the rental & ownership markets is caused by to few affordable homes being built; Govt policies such as Help to Buy & Stamp Duty Holiday that push prices up for buyers; S24 & other regulation that force LLs out & push up rents for tenants; Right to Buy that reduces numbers of social housing; increasing number of households that increase number of homes required and BOE interest rate rises on top of everything else pushing up mortgage rates for everyone! We need to build more truly affordable housing to buy & to rent not just tweak the tax system to push houses around in to different rental classes!

  • Peter Why Do I Bother

    A Commision of Experts, Councillors and Parliamentarians?? Not one expert amongst that lot.

    The missing ingredient is LANDLORDS, they will tell you why AirBnB works. No ridiculous red tape, no nonsense and no NRLA. They will also explain that any issues that do crop up AirBnB are all over it and get it resolved immediately.

    I would also envisage that AirBnB will also challenge any findings robustly and probably support landlords.

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    If they want more private sector rental accommodation to be available the solution is blindingly obvious-STOP PERSECUTING PRIVATE LANDLORDS!!!!
    A commission costing hundreds of thousands of pounds is not required!!!!

  • Clare Dundas

    100% in agreement. Airbnb is a lifesaver for private landlords. If there's something amiss with the property, guest reviews of the property ensure that LLs immediately rectify any issues to enable and increase bookings. A straightforward and adult way of going about things. And totally hassle free. If local councils wade in and start interfering in private LLs letting their properties via on line travel agencies such as Airbnb, the entire thing will quickly fall apart. If I'm ordered when to do something and told how it must be done, whether or not I agree, I might as well get a paid desk job. The fundamental essence of the private LL is entrepreneurship. Self employment equals freedom. That freedom comes at a price but one that, on balance, private LLs have deemed worthwhile. If they are regulated beyond reason and restricted every which way, what benefits remain? This country is morphing into a communist nanny state, governed by paper pushers and remote, ill equipped policy makers, keen for all to be kept and governed at the same level in society as the lowest.

  • icon

    So on the one hand Devon is concerned about the impact of Airbnb on the availability of rental properties and on the other Exeter City Council has just had a consultation on widening the area covered by an Article 4 Directive to clamp down on very affordable shared housing and HMOs.
    Exmouth has just proudly announced its turned down a planning application for more high density retirement flats on a bit of land that doesn't really lend itself to any viable alternative.

    Devon is a tourist area, a retirement favourite and has a very good university. These facts can't be ignored.
    Thousands of young professionals with good jobs rely on HMO accommodation so they can afford to save for a deposit and have some kind of lifestyle. It isn't just students and minimum wage workers who live in HMOs. Students are quantifiable due to Council Tax exemptions, professionals just quietly live in houses and get on with their lives.

    Devon needs to make its mind up what it wants.
    A tourist industry.
    Affordable shared housing for young professionals.
    Retirement housing so people can downsize and free up family homes elsewhere.

    An under utilisation of housing stock and a NIMBY attitude to everything isn't helping anyone.

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