Gov. Cox says housing problems in Utah are worsened by Airbnb, Vrbo
SALT LAKE CITY — The governor of Utah says rental housing offered by services like Airbnb and Vrbo is hurting the housing market in Utah.
In a virtual chat with the Bipartisan Policy Center on Tuesday, Gov. Cox said the state has an estimated 20,000 homes that are considered short-term rentals, a number which the governor said is unprecedented.
“That’s housing stock that now isn’t being rented to families or available for purchase by first-time homeowners or others,” said Cox.
He said nearly 20,000 properties are now listed as short-term rentals, basically taking houses and turning them into hotels.
The governor said the trend of turning homes into short-term rentals is worsening the state’s housing shortage, especially in smaller towns with affordable housing and in areas with tourism draws.
“Utah is a tourist state, and we are very proud of that, but especially in tiny, rural towns around our national parks, where traditionally the housing has been fairly affordable, school teachers who live within a hundred miles of the school they teach at cannot live there, because there are no homes for sale,” said Cox.
Cox said he is a strong proponent of private property rights, but that the state needs to figure out what to do about the spread of rentals designed to make money, but instead keep families out of affordable housing.
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