Is Airbnb helping or hurting Ireland?

The site has outlined it's benefits following claims that it is adding to Dublin's housing crisis...

Is Airbnb helping or hurting Ireland?

blog.airbnb.com

Last month, house-sharing site Airbnb appeared in headlines after The Temple Bar Residents Association said that it is adding to Dublin's housing crisis.

It pointed to the high volume of properties in the capital being listed on sites like Airbnb and Booking.com. Together the number of listed properties passed 2,000, while the number of rooms available to let in the city dwindled at record-lows of just more than 1,200.

Chairman of the Dublin City Council’s housing committee, Sinn Féin councillor Daithí Doolan said that these short term letting sites are one of the factors pushing up rents and contributing to the housing shortage in Dublin.

Airbnb's response suggested that these are not directly related figures - “They aren’t taking housing off the market – the typical host in the Ireland earns an additional €2,600 by sharing space in their home for 46 nights a year,” a spokesperson said.

A statement from Temple Bar residents said that 73% of the holiday lets advertised on the site are available for more than 90 days of the year.

The company says that its users are "regular people who share their homes and use the money they earn to pay the bills."

Tourism

Research from Airbnb outlining the economic benefits that the company brings say that it contributes €202m to the Irish economy.

It adds that more than 419,000 guests have used Airbnb in Ireland while 7,000 plus people have made their homes available on the site. 

Airbnb says that its customers stay for longer than those who use traditional forms of accommodation and that they spend more on other goods and services during their time in Ireland.

On the broader issue of this kind of room and house sharing, a spokesperson for South Dublin County Council told The Irish Times that home owners renting out their property in this way is not a matter that it is concerned with.

"Essentially the use is for residential purposes and only if, for example, residential use is changed to commercial use, as in a shop or other commercial activity, is planning permission required," she said, adding that there are no rules against these kinds of short term rentals.