EDITORIAL: Long term housing

Short term rentals have been a point of contrition in many communities since the rise of Airbnb, and many of those places have been working to regulate the giant explosion in popularity.

Golden has a number of developments that are popping up around town. With that, comes out-of-town purchasers who are looking at our market to make an extra dime.

Although we have regulations in Golden that a bed and breakfast must follow, short term rentals like Airbnb are being allowed in different venues, like people’s homes, apartments, and condos.

There are a handful of rentals that do not align with the bed and breakfast regulations, which say there must not be more than three sleeping units.

Much like a hotel, someone is there to check you in and ensure everything is going smoothly during your stay.

With online short term rentals, you can check in and get the key without ever meeting the owner or manager of the property. This weekend, for instance, a friend and I travelled to Calgary and stayed in a lovely downtown Airbnb.

We got the key from a lock box, and followed our instructions to the condo. The stay was amazing, and we loved the experience of being able to reside in a homey atmosphere without feeling like a guest at a hotel.

But, Golden runs a little bit differently. We are an up and coming mountain town. Each year, our tourism numbers grow, and we welcome more visitors to our area.

We have a housing crunch. I want to call it a crisis. The people who want to live here long term are unable to find accommodation that will allow them to do so, or it becomes a big hassle if you need to find a new place to live.

The Town of Golden needs to address the abundance of short term rentals, before more construction gets underway.

The only way they will be able to regulate it after all of these new places are built, is to grandfather in what is already being rented as short term rentals.

Otherwise, home owners could lose part of their livelihoods by giving up their short term rental space. A lot of these people depend on the extra income and have made it part of their way in life to make money.

Measure twice, cut once.

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