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CONSULTATION ON SHORT-TERM TOURIST ACCOMMODATION

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The City of Gaspé wishes to consult its citizens as part of the implementation of regulations governing short-term accommodation. In a context of housing shortage, several voices are raised to limit the expansion of the supply of short-term accommodation, with the aim of encouraging annual rentals and thus freeing up housing for year-round residents. First, we will ask you for your profile, then we will put into situation the portrait of housing on the territory and the phenomenon of short-term rentals.

To ensure that survey responses are as honest as possible, we ask participants to identify themselves. Please note that responses and data will remain confidential and will not be used outside of this consultation process. Personal information will not be shared with a third party and deleted once the consultation is complete.

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Section 2: Context and relevant information

The City of Gaspé has been experiencing considerable economic expansion since 2016. With the expansion of the LM Wind Power plant and the economic vitality of its traditional sectors of its economy, in addition to the effects generated by the pandemic and the search for a way of life closer to nature, the population of Gaspé has grown from 14 inhabitants in 568 to 2016 inhabitants in 15 according to the latest census data, which is a faster expansion than cities like Rimouski or Rivière-du-Loup. 

Although the growth in housing has also been there (+505 from 2016 to 2021), it cannot meet all the demand, since the occupancy rate of the City of Gaspé, as of October 2021 was 0,8%, well below the equilibrium rate of a rental market generally around 3%.

As early as 2018, the City of Gaspé carried out initiatives to stimulate the construction of private housing, in particular by selling land at very low prices ($1 to $2) and since 500, it has been offering tax holidays 2019 years for the construction of rental housing and the purchase of a house in certain areas of the City which had several houses for sale at that time. 

In addition, the City of Gaspé offers tax holidays of up to 35 years, land donations and subsidies for the construction of social housing on its territory. These projects are supported by community organizations and an additional resource has been hired at the MRC de la Côte-de-Gaspé to accelerate the emergence and implementation of such projects. 

The economic effervescence was also visible in the tourism sector as the region welcomed a record number of tourists during the years 2019, 2020 and 2021. This reality favored the emergence of projects aimed at converting housing units or single-family homes in tourist residences for short-term rentals that are usually posted on sites like Air BNB, VRBO and other similar platforms. In order to keep the maximum number of housing units available for residents year-round, some voices would like the City of Gaspé to regulate this practice more. The survey therefore seeks to collect comments from citizens on how the City of Gaspé should regulate these types of accommodation.

In order to illustrate the phenomenon of short-term rentals, some data and definitions are important to know.

Definitions

What is a tourist accommodation establishment within the meaning of the Regulation respecting tourist accommodation establishments?

The main tourist accommodation categories are principal residence, youth tourist accommodation and general tourist accommodation establishments according to the CITQ, since September 1, 2022.  

The operation of a tourist accommodation establishment is subject to registration with the CITQ. 

Un tourist accommodation establishment is an establishment in which at least one accommodation unit, such as a bed, a room, a suite, an apartment, a house, a chalet, a ready-to-camp or a camping site, is offered for rent to tourists against remuneration, for a period not exceeding 31 days.

Un tourist is a person who makes a trip during which he stays at least one night, outside his main residence, for pleasure or business purposes or to perform paid work. 

A Rmain residence is the residence where a natural person usually lives by centralizing his family and social activities there and whose address corresponds to the one he indicates to most government departments and agencies. 

With the entry into force of a new law on September 1, 2022, the Quebec government does not allow municipalities to prohibit the short-term rental of a principal residence, without resorting to a referendum process. 

Some data is also important to know.

Data

Number of total assessment units in Gaspé (all types combined, house, apartment, hotels, camping, etc.): 6

Number of CITQ permits by category in Gaspé (August 2022)

Tourist residences: 72

Hotels, inns or lodges: 14

Campsites: 14

Outfitters: 2

Youth hostels and student residences: 3

Number of dwellings offered on collaborative accommodation platforms (June 2021, RCGT study for the MRC de la Côte-de-Gaspé): 69

Number of accommodations offered on collaborative accommodation platforms (verification in August 2022 for reservations in September and October): Between 70 and 75 units.

Section 3: Advantages and disadvantages

We have identified various advantages and disadvantages associated with short-term tourist accommodation.

Please indicate whether these seem important to you to consider (10) or not (1).

Benefits

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Disadvantages

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Section 4: Questions concerning the desired municipal framework for short-term rental accommodation of a tourist nature

Please indicate your level of agreement with each of the following statements using a scale of 1 to 10: 1 meaning you totally disagree and 10 meaning you totally agree.

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 The City should completely prohibit short-term rentals (less than 31 days) on its territory for these types of dwellings:

 

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It is also possible to partially ban short-term tourist accommodation and/or to use licensing and taxation mechanisms.

In your opinion, using a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 meaning you totally disagree and 10 meaning you totally agree, would it be better:

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Section 5: For homeowners (short-term or long-term)

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Thank you for completing the survey! Press the button below to submit your responses.

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