York should be allowed to follow the lead of Edinburgh and bring in controls on short term holiday lets.
Without such a crackdown, more people will be evicted in their homes and rents will spiral.
That’s the view of the Labour group on City of York Council.
New powers in Edinburgh mean the council must grant planning approval to allow a property to change from a primary home to a short-term holiday let.
English cities don’t have this power – but they need it, and urgently, says Labour’s housing spokesperson, Cllr Michael Pavlovic.
“The impact of unhindered change of use to holiday lets is enormous,” he said.
“It results in families being evicted from their homes, in more people joining the housing waiting list for social housing and in a reduction in the amount of ordinary rental properties available for York residents.
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“The overall impact is also York becoming even more unaffordable as more and more family homes are snapped up to be run as businesses.
“It’s become a major issue for the city and we need to establish a new class use for holiday lets, so they are no longer treated the same as traditional residential dwellings in planning terms.
“So far the government seems to be more focussed on the amount of money holiday lets can generate for their owners than on the impact they are having on the communities they threaten the future of.”
The staycation trend prompted by Covid has been good for York. But increasing demand has seen holiday let prices rising.
Labour councillors say even a distance away from the city centre, property owners can still make in under two weeks what they make in a month through ordinary residential rentals.