Increasing short-term rentals could make creating affordable housing more difficult, expert says

Short-term rentals popular in districts 1 and 2

SAN ANTONIO – The increasing popularity of short-term rentals could contribute to the City of San Antonio’s uphill battle to create affordable housing.

Greg Zlotnick with St. Mary’s University School of Law works on eviction prevention. His clients are on the verge of being evicted and can’t find a home or a place they can afford.

“One of the root causes for eviction is a lack of affordable housing,” he said.

There are a lot of factors contributing to the problem, including the increased use of short-term rentals.

“That cuts in. There’s a finite number of housing units here in our city. The more units that are available through these short-term rental platforms, the fewer rentals are available for long-term leases,” Zlotnick explained. There has not been a study done on the specific impact. On the surface, Zlotnick said it appears there’s a link.

The City of San Antonio has issued 4,615 short-term rental permits, and about 3,314 are active, according to the Development Services Department.

In 2019, when the city began issuing permits, it issued 1,712 permits. Data shows districts 1 and 2 have the highest number of permits issued.

You can view the location of those short-term rental properties through the city’s interactive map here.

Zlotnick explained that a solution to decrease the popularity of short-term rentals and incentivize property owners to convert them into long-term rentals would take some flexibility from the city and changes in the state’s laws.


About the Author:

Patty Santos joined the KSAT 12 News team in July 2017. She has a proven track record of reporting on hard-hitting news that affects the community.