The number of short-term rentals on the Island keeps growing. The State’s registry shows Nantucket added over 200 short-term rentals in just six months – that’s a 10% increase for a total of 2,215 registered short-term rentals by the end of 2020.
Meanwhile, Nantucket is losing 65 year-round homes each year, despite a growing population. It’s like being stuck in a never-ending game of musical chairs where more players keep showing up.
What happens if a seasonal resident or a short-term rental investor buys each year-round home that sells? By the end of the decade, we would need to build 1,300 homes to replace the housing lost in the last 20 years. It’s a lousy proposition – overdevelopment is already a threat.
It’s hard to see a way out of this.
The community needs strategies to retain the year-round housing that’s already there. And stopping investors from picking Nantucket to open a short-term rental business is part of the solution. Otherwise, each time voters are asked to fund affordable housing, they are indirectly subsidizing investor-owned short-term rentals.
Like other “gem” communities in the world, Nantucket has been facing decades of outside forces. Nantucketers have fought to put in protections like the LandBank and the HDC. We must continue to fight to protect the Island and its fragile resources, or it will be ruined by overdevelopment and all the resulting fallouts.
Enjoy your week,
P.S. Visit our website to read all about Short-Term Rentals.
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