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  • Hannah Sabourin

Chelsea caps Airbnbs at 30

Farm Point resident Tineke Kuijper said her retirement plans are in jeopardy because of an incoming Chelsea bylaw.

The recently retired resident bought a house in Chelsea to eventually rent out rooms through Airbnb, a vacation rental company. Kuijper said she felt dejected when municipal council voted unanimously to pass a draft bylaw during the Jan. 10 council meeting to restrict short-term rentals (STR) licenses to five residences per ward – 30 for all of Chelsea per year.

According to the Chelsea Mayor Pierre Guénard, this limitation would guarantee that more affordable rental units will be available on the open market.

He said he did not want the short-term, vacation rental market to be oversaturated, which he said could limit affordable housing options.

“Here in Chelsea, we don’t want housing to become a business. We want housing to stay a fundamental right,” said Guénard.

According to the municipal website, this draft bylaw is intended to “limit the impact of the new provincial legislation.”

In an email to the Low Down, Kuijper refuted Guénard’s statement.