A new Twitter account is calling out illegal Airbnb locations in Vancouver by address, and "reporting" them to the City of Vancouver and CRA.
Launched this weekend, the account @VISTRO11 tweets Airbnb listings for Vancouver and flags @CityofVancouver and @CanRevAgency.
— VISTRO (@VISTRO11) October 30, 2017
The account seems to be in response to recent meetings held by the City of Vancouver that gave a range of interested residents and business owners the chance to have their say on the record about the short-term rental industry and its regulation and legality in the city.
“Airbnb is a cancer that’s destroying communities. Destroying families. Destroying lives,” speaker Rohana Rezel told council on Thursday, October 26.
Conversely, on Tuesday night, most speakers were home owners whose arguments largely adhered to two central themes: 1) renting out basement and secondary suites was the only thing keeping the mortgage wolves at bay and 2) the city was infringing on their ownership rights by limiting who they could rent to.
At issue is a proposed policy legalizing these short-term rentals and putting a tax on them.
Many, like Rezel, do not want to see Airbnb legalized in Vancouver.
“My impression is that Airbnb has been destructive to the communities I live and work in,” said Quentin Wright, executive director of the Mole Hill Community Housing Society at Thursday's meeting. With more than 2,000 Vancouver suites offered on Airbnb, “people just can’t find a place to live.”
This new Twitter account has pointed out a handful of Airbnb listings so far, but a rep from the City of Vancouver told News 1130 that they do not actively monitor complaints of this nature on the social media network.
However, the City of Vancouver did reply by Twitter to @VISTRO11's first tweeted report:
— VISTRO (@VISTRO11) October 29, 2017
The Twitter account says they have been overwhelmed with tips so far.
Meanwhile, due to the overwhelming volume of speakers at Thursday's meeting, the City will take up the short-term rental policy issue in November.