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ACC Commission Will Debate Short Term Rental Limitations

City Hall WUGA
Nicole Jordan
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As rising rent prices strain Athens families, Athens-Clarke County commissioners will assess the possibility of short term housing limitations to alleviate housing pressure.

Athens-Clarke County Mayor Kelly Girtz assigned the issue to the commission’s Government Operations Committee earlier this summer. Limitation supporters say that short term rental sites like AirBnB and VRBO cause a so-called ‘AirBnB effect,” increasing pressure on local housing stock. According to Forbes, the ‘AirBnB effect’ acts much like gentrification by increasing an area’s property values beyond the means of residents, many of whom are forced to move due to rising housing costs.

Athens has not fully recovered since the ‘08 housing crisis, says the Federal Reserve Bank. According to their Home Ownership Affordability Monitor Index, which determines housing availability for a household with the median income for the county, Athens has a score of 65.6. A score above 100 means that a household with the median income can afford a house at 30% of their income, the standard for affordable housing. In Athens, a household making the median income of $51,227 needs to pay 46% of its monthly income to afford housing.

The committee will discuss instituting short term housing limitations at their meeting on Monday, September 19, from 5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m at City Hall in Room 301B.