Item - 2021.PH23.10

Tracking Status

  • This item was considered by Planning and Housing Committee on May 20, 2021. The Planning and Housing Committee postponed consideration of this item. Consult the text of the decision for further information on the deferral.

PH23.10 - Short-term Rental Updates and Exploring their Conversion to Longer-term Housing

Decision Type:
ACTION
Status:
Deferred
Wards:
All

Public Notice Given

Committee Decision

The Planning and Housing Committee:  

 

1. Deferred consideration of the item until the June 11, 2021 Special Meeting of the Planning and Housing Committee.

Origin

(May 6, 2021) Report from the Executive Director, Housing Secretariat and Executive Director, Municipal Licensing and Standards, General Manager, Shelter, Support and Housing Administration

Summary

In July 2020, City Council requested that staff in the Housing Secretariat and Shelter, Support and Housing Administration (SSHA) Divisions explore the feasibility of facilitating the conversion of Short-Term Rental (STR) units to longer-term affordable rental housing stock. To assist in the determination, staff engaged Professor David Wachsmuth and the Urban Politics and Governance (UPGo) research group with the School of Urban Planning at McGill University based on their experience conducting similar research for municipal governments across Canada.  The scope of the research was aimed at determining: the impact of COVID-19 on STRs; asking rents for former STR units compared to average market rents in the city; the location of STR units; and the impact of the City's STR operator registration deadline of December 31, 2020 on the STR market.

 

This report responds to Council's request and provides a high-level summary of the research findings; an overview of existing housing-focussed programs funded and/or administered by SSHA for which the partnering housing providers are private market landlords; and an analysis of the feasibility of converting STR units to longer-term affordable rental housing stock for low-income households and those waiting for subsidized housing. While preliminary research findings were shared at the March 2, 2021 meeting of the Planning and Housing Committee, Attachment 1 to this report includes the final report titled, "Short-term Rentals in the City of Toronto - Market Overview and Regulatory Impact Analysis."

 

In summary, the research conducted reveals that STRs are currently naturally transitioning to the longer-term rental (LTR) market. For instance, the research identified 3,476 STR listings that have been posted as LTRs, and approximately 42.4% appear to have fully transitioned to the LTR market. However, asking rents for former STR units are as much as 11.6% more than average market rents, and these units are primarily located in the downtown core. The research also indicates that opportunities exist to bring more STR operators into compliance with the City's new regulations, which could result in more units returning to the LTR market. While staff will continue to explore the feasibility of partnering with suitable operators to provide long-term housing opportunities for low-income households, based on these findings and other reasons outlined in the report, opportunities to secure STRs as LTRs for this purpose are likely limited.

 

This report also includes updates from Municipal Licensing and Standards (MLS) on short-term rental regulations. As directed by City Council in March 2021, this report addresses requests related to data, fees, 311 processes, concerns about human trafficking and short-term rental company data validation, and includes a recommended bylaw amendment to Chapter 547, Licensing and Registration of Short-term Rentals, to clarify that short-term rental companies must validate listings against registration data on the City's Open Data portal.

 

This report was developed with input from the Housing Secretariat, Shelter, Support and Housing Administration, Municipal Licensing and Standards and the Social Development and Finance Administration Divisions.

Background Information

(May 6, 2021) Report from the Executive Director, Housing Secretariat, the Executive Director, Municipal Licensing and Standards and the General Manager, Shelter, Support and Housing Administration on Short-term Rental Updates and Exploring their Conversion to Longer-term Housing
https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2021/ph/bgrd/backgroundfile-166704.pdf
Attachment 1 - Short-Term Rentals in the City of Toronto - Market Overview and Regulatory Impact Analysis
https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2021/ph/bgrd/backgroundfile-166717.pdf
(May 13, 2021) Public Notice
https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2021/ph/bgrd/backgroundfile-166765.pdf

Communications

(May 18, 2021) Letter from Nathan Rotman, Airbnb Canada (PH.New)
https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2021/ph/comm/communicationfile-131753.pdf
(May 19, 2021) Letter from Thorben Wieditz, Fairbnb Canada (PH.New)
https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2021/ph/comm/communicationfile-131919.pdf

Motions

1 - Motion to Defer Item moved by Councillor Ana Bail„o (Carried)

That consideration of the item be deferred until the June 11, 2021 Special Meeting of the Planning and Housing Committee.

Source: Toronto City Clerk at www.toronto.ca/council