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How Short-term vacation rentals (STVRs) destroy communities

Short-term Vacation Rentals, or  STVRs, create a cascade of problems in San Diego’s neighborhoods. They drive out residents, damage local institutions, exacerbate the housing crisis, and cost the City money.

Vacationers replace stable, contributing community members.

  • Long-term residents – people who care about the community and their neighbors – are displaced. These are people who support and enhance their community by joining the Town Council, coaching Little League, sending their kids to the local schools, etc.
  • Renters are evicted or priced out of the market – whether they rent houses, condos, and apartments.
  • Homeowners sell and move away when the noise, trash, and constant stream of strangers gets to be too much to bear.

The character of the community is damaged.

  • Schools close as families with children are evicted, priced out, or leave in frustration.
  • Churches, clubs, and other social institutions flounder as the balance tips from stable, long-term residents to short-term, transient visitors with no stake in the community.
  • Local businesses struggle as their residential customer base is reduced.
  • Companies discover that their employees can’t find affordable housing.

The housing crisis gets worse.

Thousands or houses, condos, and even whole apartment buildings in San Diego’s residential-zoned neighborhoods have illegally been turned into short-term vacation rentals. These are thousands of homes that are no longer available for people who want to work and live in San Diego.

Investors looking to profit by buying up homes in your neighborhoods can offer cash or better payment options. Housing shortages ripple out to affect other areas, too. Prices rise and the number of available units drops. It’s harder for everyone – would-be renters and homeowners alike – to find and afford a place to call home.

The City loses money.

Short-term Vacation Rentals (STVRs) cost San Diego more than they produce in revenue.

  • STVR take customers away from hotels, thereby reducing the City’s Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT) revenue from hotels.
  • Sales tax revenue from STVR occupants is less that from year-round residents.
  • Property tax revenue is less when an older or inherited property is not sold, but is merely cosmetically improved and used as an STVR.
  • When long-term residents move away due to STVRs, communities can become problematic. They end up costing the City more money for police and other city services.

Your property value could be hurt.

Property values and property tax revenue are depressed for properties next to an STVR. When homes near a short-term rental are being sold, the seller must disclose the presence of the STVR. Because of the negative impacts associated with being near an STVR (noise, living next to constantly changing strangers, parking, etc.), this disclosure reduces the selling price. The result is lower property value and less property tax revenue for the City than for the same property had it not been located near an STVR.