The housing charity Threshold has warned that tourists will be staying in family homes while the homeless sleep in hotels this St Patrick’s Day.
The charity has said that the thousands of properties that will be filled on a very short-term basis over the holiday would “make a significant contribution to dealing with Ireland’s housing crisis if they were made available for long term rental.”
It said that 3,476 complete homes in Dublin are listed for short-term rental on Airbnb, meaning they are “permanently removed from capital’s housing stock.”
Threshold said there are also thousands of homes available as holiday rentals on a full-time basis in Cork and Galway.
John Mark McCafferty, Threshold CEO, said: “The number of people who can be accommodated in Airbnb properties far exceeds the current 9,987 homeless figure.”
“While tourists are always welcome and Airbnb has a role to play in the tourist market, this volume of short-term lets is taking units that would otherwise be available for long-term rent out of that market.”
The charity’s chairperson Aideen Hayden said the Housing Minister Eoghan Murhpy must publish the new short-term rental regulations that are due to come into force on June 1st.
“We call on him to do so without delay,” she said.
“We still don’t know what resources will be given to local authorities to allow them to enforce these regulations.
“The number of units that could potentially be freed up to deal with the housing shortage is large and this reflects a shortage of affordable homes not just in Ireland but in Europe generally.
“We call on the Minister to act immediately.”
According to the latest Government figures there are currently 9,987 people accessing emergency accommodation in Ireland.
Homeless charities have warned that the true figure may be far higher after the Government removed 1,606 people who were removed from the Department of Housing count following three ‘re-categorisations’ last year.