In our recent white paper, we discussed the challenges that cities face when regulating home-sharing and short-term rentals (STRs). Faced with competing interests and perspectives, regulations need to balance the priorities and concerns of homeowners, renters, industry or business groups, and more.
The City of Yellowknife recently embarked on a multi-phase community and stakeholder engagement process to create a framework for regulating STRs. In Yellowknife, STRs are currently only allowed in hotels and bed & breakfasts (B&Bs). Despite these rules, there has been a rapid growth of nightly rentals in Yellowknife on platforms such as AirBnb in recent years. City staff set out to draft a framework which maximizes the benefits of STRs while managing impacts on neighbourhoods and providers of licensed accommodation.
Based on feedback gathered from focus groups with the public, the City used PlaceSpeak to hear from a broader base of community members. Since PlaceSpeak’s launch in Yellowknife, the City has established an active base of over 800 residents who are automatically notified of new opportunities to provide feedback. By creating an engaged civic network, PlaceSpeak facilitates an efficient and cost-effective means for connecting with an ever-growing number of people, on an ongoing basis.
“More and more residents are now familiar with PlaceSpeak, which offers an easy-to-use platform to host a survey as well as handy features to inform residents of upcoming events and available resources,” said Stephanie Vandeputte, Economic Development and Communications Officer. “With PlaceSpeak we’re able to empower residents to provide input that guides decision-making by elected officials and utilize features such as location validation to ensure the input we’re getting reflects the opinions of our community members.”