OP-ED: Use Rooms Tax Dollars for Housing
Local governments must intervene to solve year-round rental crisis
Over the past two decades, year-round rental apartments have all but vanished on the Outer Cape as their owners have discovered how much more lucrative it is to rent their homes and condos to visitors to our beautiful region in the summer and shoulder seasons. The advent of online rental platforms such as Airbnb and HomeAway (now VRBO) accelerated the loss of rental housing for people who live and work in our communities year-round.
A 2018 study, conducted by the Public Policy Center at UMass Dartmouth for the town of Provincetown, documented how workers cannot compete with visitors who are willing and able to pay premium prices for short-term rentals. The simple truth is that property owners stand to earn significantly more through short-term rentals than year-round market-rate rentals