Spooked by VISTRO, Vancouver hosts ditch Airbnb

By Will Young

Spooked by an Airbnb-fighting Twitter account, Vancouver’s hosts are taking their listings off the short term rental platform.

VISTRO[1]https://twitter.com/VISTRO11, which stands for Vancouver’s Illegal Short Term Rental Operators, has so far reported approximate 50 Airbnb units to the City of Vancouver.

The City has responded with case a number for nearly half of the reports.

ThinkPol found that at least seven of the hosts reported by VISTRO have gone on to take their listings down.

Until today, City’s social media team has been inconsistent with accepting VISTRO’s reports of illegal Airbnb hotels over Twitter.

But Cathy Chan, the staff operating the @CityofVancouver Twitter handle today, recorded everyone single one of VISTRO’s complaints.

“We’re glad to hear that we’ve made a positive impact doing the job that the City of Vancouver should be doing,” VISTRO told ThinkPol. “The Mayor and the Council, other than Councillor Carr, have allowed a multi-billion dollar foreign company to tear our communities apart and should be booted out next year.”

“We’d also like to thank City of Vancouver social media team member Cathy Chan for diligently recording our reports,” VISTRO added. “She has done more for our great city in a day than the Mayor has done in eight years of office.”

“Vancouverites are uniting to protect our communities by resisting Airbnb’s ruthless advance,” VISTRO concluded. “We’ll set an example to the world on how neighbours can come together to defeat multi-billion dollar corporate greed.”

The City of Vancouver held a public hearing over two days last week on a new bylaw that would legalize and regulate AirBNB and other short term rental operations, which are currently illegal in the city[2]http://council.vancouver.ca/20171024/phea20171024ag.htm

Around a 100 people spoke on the proposed by-law, under which short term rental operators would be required to obtain a licence before marketing their units, and only offer such accommodations in their principle residence[3]http://council.vancouver.ca/20171024/documents/phea1-by-law-amendlicenseby-law.pdf.

VISTRO vehemently opposes the new bylaws.

“It’s reckless and irresponsible to legalize short term rentals and allow Airbnb to take away even more of the rental stock when we’re in the midst of a housing crisis,” VISTRO said. “But it seems the Mayor and the Council, who seem to lack even a semblance of a conscience, would rather listen to Airbnb than to the people who elected them.”

The Vancouver City Council will debate the motion again on November 14.

[Photo Credit: FIVRE604/Twitter, used with permission]

References   [ + ]

1. https://twitter.com/VISTRO11
2. http://council.vancouver.ca/20171024/phea20171024ag.htm
3. http://council.vancouver.ca/20171024/documents/phea1-by-law-amendlicenseby-law.pdf