Taoiseach Enda Kenny in the Dáil yesterday
In the Dáil.
Sinn Féin TD Eoin Ó Broin asked the Taoiseach Enda Kenny about the regulation of properties on Airbnb in Dublin.
They had the following exchange…
Eoin Ó Broin: “As the Taoiseach knows the November homeless figures showed, yet again, a further rise in the number of people living in emergency accommodation, with 6,985 people in such accommodation, including 2,549 children. ”
“In addition to the lack of supply of social housing, the lack of adequate private rental accommodation is feeding this crisis.”
“Today in Dublin there are only 1,564 properties available for rent but there are 6,225 units listed on Airbnb. The Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government, Deputy [Simon] Coveney, gave a commitment in October to introduce secondary legislation to properly regulate this sector to ensure that only properties adequate for the purposes of Airbnb would be considered and the rest would require planning permission. When will this secondary legislation be published and will the Opposition be consulted on its contents?”
Enda Kenny: “We have been through this at some considerable length over the past period of time. The action plan allows for the building of 1,500 rapid-build units and 1,600 vacant units have been sourced by the Housing Agency.”
“The expanded HAP scheme for homeless tenancies reached 550 in 2016 and will reach 1,200 in 2017. The plan also includes a 40% increase in homeless funding from €70million to €98 million in 2017. This year there will be a spend of €1.2 billion on social housing.”
“I will ask the Minister to give Deputy Ó Broin more accurate details and a date on which he expects the legislation to be published. I would point out that 200 extra beds have been provided at Ellis Quay, Little Britain Street, Carman’s Hall and Wolf Tone Quay.”
Further to this…
Yesterday evening, Mr Ó Broin released a statement, in which he said:
“In Dublin there are currently 6,225 Airbnb listings. According to data available on Inside Airbnb 2,847 or 45.4% of these listings are for entire homes and apartments. Furthermore 44.5% of the hosts have multiple listings which can indicate that it’s more likely they are running a business.
“Today, according to Daft.ie there are only 1,564 properties available to rent in the capital. With the homeless figures for November showing that 6,985 people were accessing emergency accommodation, including 2549 children, we need to ensure we are looking at every option possible to make more housing stock available.
“Back in October 2016, when An Bord Pleanála upheld a ruling that a property owner in Temple Bar required planning permission to continue renting the property out for short-term lets, Minister Coveney backed this ruling. In December, when the issue was raised in the Seanad, the Minister stated that efforts were underway to clamp down on this activity and that a change in the planning treatment was a good way to deal with it.
“Today I asked the Taoiseach to detail when the secondary legislation promised to deal with this issue will be published. Unfortunately he couldn’t give me an answer but I will be writing to Minister Coveney asking him to provide the information requested and to ask if the opposition parties will have an opportunity to have some input on the development of the regulations.
“Sinn Féin is not against the principle of Airbnb as it was originally designed however it is my view that renting out a room in your home is entirely different to renting out your entire property. If the latter is the case then you need planning permission to change the property from residential use to commercial use. While we will assess the Minister’s regulations when they are published, we believe that a maximum of six weeks rental per year is reasonable. If you are providing a commercial accommodation service then standard B&B permissions should apply.”
Transcript via Oireachtas.ie