Calls for inspectors to regulate AirBnb to ease the housing crisis

Homeless groups say the state should hire inspectors to regulate AirBnb, in a bid to ease the housing crisis.

Focus Ireland claims there at least 450 units on the holiday accommodation site that could potentially be long term rental homes.

The Peter McVerry Trust claims the urban private rental market is being highly disrupted by short term letting.

An Oireachtas committee is discussing the impact of short term lets on the country's housing crisis today.

It's heard there are twice the amount of homes available to rent on AirBnB in Dublin than those for people wanting to live in the capital.

It was also revealed that there are more AirBnB properties available in Cork than long term lets in the entire Munster region.

Francis Doherty, the head of Communications at the Peter McVerry Trust, said that the short term lettings were very disruptive to the local housing system in urban areas in Ireland such as Cork, Limerick, Dublin and Galway.

Director of Focus Ireland, Mike Allen, described AirBnb as 'socially careless' and says they don't have hard data because AirBnb won't share it.

"The way in which they treat the data which they get from private citizens and own it as an asset of their organisation and don't share it with public authorities, who need it in order to understand the implications of their behaviour, to me is one of the fundamental things you need to challenge."

AirBnb is an online marketplace and hospitality service, enabling people to lease or rent short-term lodging including vacation rentals, apartment rentals, homestays, hostel beds, or hotel rooms.

Protests have been previously held in other countries fighting against its impact on housing in cities around the world, in turn causing rental prices to rise.

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