Opinion » Letters

Need more workforce housing? Stop the home-stays!



“With investors grabbing up foreclosed properties in San Luis Obispo,” reads your recent cover story’s subhead, “options for folks looking for a place to live are shrinking.” (“How foreclosures have changed us,” Nov. 14.)

Right. Just ask the SLO City Council—they’ll tell you we need, need, need more workforce housing! So what’s their latest contribution to meeting this need?

Legalizing the conversion of workforce housing to vacation rentals for travelers too prissy to stay in motels.

That workforce housing conversion is caused by proliferating house-hotels is beyond dispute: It’s been an issue most places (like San Francisco, NYC) there are lots of vacation rentals.

And it’s already happening in SLO, as dozens of such offerings (apartments, granny units, whole houses) at online nightly rental sites show. The argument of the self-centered SLOHosts, who sparked the council’s legalizing their lucrative nightly rentals, that home-stays don’t cause this problem is palpable nonsense: Their own poster child converted a triplex of workforce housing to a large home for herself and her Airbnb hotel.

Vacation rentals spark gentrification that crowds out workforce housing. Next time the council says we need, need more workforce housing, let’s remind them of their part in reducing our existing supply. Or maybe they should just wake up, and say no to vacation rentals.

-- Richard Schmidt - San Luis Obispo

-- Richard Schmidt - San Luis Obispo

-- Richard Schmidt - San Luis Obispo

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