Clark County looks at short-term rental impact amid Las Vegas housing shortage, crisis

Published: Mar. 21, 2022 at 9:53 PM PDT
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LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) -Clark County officials are weighing in on concerns that an inundation of short-term rentals could potentially impact the housing shortage across the Las Vegas valley.

FOX5 reported on the continuing challenges for numerous home buyers and renters. People ready to buy or rent are battling limited inventory amid skyrocketing prices.

“I put a [rental] property on the market, we’ll have three applications immediately and hundreds of phone calls. There just is not enough properties for each person,” said Cynthia Woodward of Key Property Management. “There are not going to be enough rentals,” Woodward said.

In 2021, the Nevada State Legislature passed a law requiring counties to allow and craft a policy regulating short-term rentals, while enforcing penalties for non permitted short-term rentals.

From San Diego, to Scottsdale and Sedona, and even Park City, different cities that are tourist destinations face increasing housing shortages amid a boom in short-term rentals.

San Diego recently regulated its short-term rentals with a cap, and locals hope to see more rentals spring up to increase inventory.

“One of the biggest issues that Clark County in the face over the next few years is real housing crisis. So fortunately, with short-term rentals, we don’t have to take the lead and guess as the ultimate impact of some of these policies. There’s other jurisdictions, including some tourist destinations, that we can look to,” said Commissioner Ross Miller, who is overseeing the town hall on Tuesday for public comment.

A 2019 analysis and 2021 follow-up by Harvard Business review analyzed the costs and benefits: “Home-sharing through Airbnb alone is responsible for about 20% of the average annual increase in U.S. rents... In the next part of our study, we took a more granular approach in an attempt to measure the direct impact of various STR regulations and identify strategies that can help communities reap the long-term benefits of the economic activity generated by these rentals while minimizing the short-term harm to residents.”

Airbnb released this statement:

“Airbnb is a tool for economic empowerment that helps families across Nevada participate in the city’s tourism economy and earn meaningful income to pay their bills. In fact, according to a survey of our US Host community, 42 percent said the money they earned on Airbnb helped them stay in their homes. As our data confirms and a number of experts have concluded, home sharing is not a meaningful driver of the housing affordability crisis, including in Nevada -- and at the same time, Airbnb is focused on supporting the return of the local tourism economy by empowering residents to supplement their income by sharing their homes, and working with elected officials on sensible policies.”