There has been a lot of discussion of late both nationally and provincially about dwindling residential
housing stocks and affordability, so much so that it has been labeled a “crisis”. One of the major factors
that has fueled this crisis has been rampant resale house price escalation driven in large part by
speculators, particularly in smaller communities surrounding major population centers like the GTA. Many
of these speculators are small, taking advantage of the equity in their full-time residences in Toronto for
example. But some are much larger Corporations who own multiple properties solely for the purposes of short-term rentals, operating exactly as a hotel chain. There are several currently operating in Tiny right now and this should of great concern.
These investors often pay a premium for “fixer uppers” or private “no-hassle, commission free, walk
away,” sales (those postcards in your mailbox from the “nice” family businesses?) Driving the overall
residential market up..... and it’s WAY up in Tiny and area. (213% since 2013) source: CREA
Further to the meteoric jump in house prices, what these new investors now do with these homes has
also dramatically changed. Gone are the days when such a purchase would be leased long term to
families and individuals.
“STRs are changing the relationship between inhabitants, housing, and urban space primarily through
gentrification. Landlords are displacing low-to-moderate income renters in preference of short-term rentals.”
Simcoe County AHAC (Affordable Housing Advisory Committee) AHA-2021-148-3
Further, “The earning capacity of STRs is likely to make it even more challenging to find affordable rental units in
areas that attract a higher number of STRs.” Simcoe County AHAC (Affordable Housing Advisory Committee) AHA-2021-148-3
A study conducted by the Urban Politics and Governances (UPGo) research group at McGill University in
2019, found that STRs had removed approximately 31,100 housing units nationally from the long-term leasing
segment over the previous two year period. That was Pre-Pandemic.
It has been estimated that there are currently >1,000 STRs operating in Tiny however, the municipality is completely unaware of an actual number. In February of 2019, a third party supplier pegged the number at 330 (based on 2 sites – Airbnb & Vrbo). Understanding that the vast majority of these STR operations are not primary residences, that is potentially the loss of upwards of 1,000 long term leasing opportunities eliminated from local housing stocks. In a community that has a total of single family residences in 2022 of 10,443 units, that is alarmingly close to 10% of available
residential housing units which are dedicated to unregulated short-term-rentals.... and unavailable to Tiny
In the year that has passed since that report, the crisis surrounding affordable housing in Simcoe County now sees
the average wait for geared-to-income family accommodation now at an average wait time of seven years! For
families in crisis, more than four. Read that as homeless, no fixed address. Individuals, seniors, abused women,
Pro-STR policies in Simcoe County contribute to homelessness. STR’s haven’t created the problem locally, but they
have most certainly aggravated the situation keeping in mind that probable loss of 10% of existing housing stock to
“the vacationing public”
Now no one is suggesting that if STRs were “banned” in Tiny Township that the 10% of existing housing stock
dedicated to STRs would become long term rentals, and there are numerous reasons why property owners do not
opt for long term leasing, but the main motivator without question is money.
“The financial incentives offered by STRs in competition with long-term rental are significant. One
interview subject noted that they could make almost double the annual profit, and this was a common sentiment...”
Simcoe County AFAC report AHA-2021-148-4
Our former Deputy Mayor, and current Councillor Steffen Walma – was quoted in the Barrie Examiner on June 18, 2022, when asked about the wait list stated:
“We’re steadily climbing but not at an overtly fast rate, which I guess is a silver lining.”
How do women escape violence with their children in increasing numbers regardless of the rate, who have nowhere to go and must somehow hold out for more than four years.... or longer, resemble anything like a “silver lining”?
We can see the ripple effect on the housing economy, Short Term Rental policies affect us all.