A senior housing official at Bristol city council says the increasing popularity of Airbnb has had the effect of taking “hundreds” of properties and rooms off the long-term rental market.
Gillian Douglas, head of housing options at Bristol city council, made the claim when addressing MPs on the Public Accounts Committee.
A report in the Bristol Post says Douglas said the problem is causing particular problems for tenants on benefits; the council has given incentives to private landlords, including topping up benefit payments to closer to the level of private sector rents.
Douglas told MPs that housing benefit would have to increase and the rise of Airbnb “tackled” in order to ease the homelessness problem in the city.
“[Airbnb] has taken hundreds of whole properties and houses to that market, never mind rooms in houses and so on” she said.
The Bristol Post stated that the average south west Airbnb host earns around £3,400 on top of their annual salary by renting out spare rooms.