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Are short-term rentals hurting Geneva’s housing situation?

  • / Updated:
  • Staff Report 

There are some members of Geneva City Council who feel the impact of short-term rentals on the overall housing market is bad in the city.

Short-term rentals, defined as dwellings rented for less than 30 consecutive days, have been on the rise in Geneva due to the potential return for property investors. However, the increased supply of short-term rentals has resulted in a decrease in available housing for renters and homeowners, exacerbating the city’s eroding population.

Finger Lakes Partners (Billboard)

City Manager Amie Hendrix presented several options for addressing the issue at a meeting earlier this month, including licensing, occupancy limits, and applying occupancy taxes.

Mayor Steve Valentino highlighted the potential negative impact of short-term rentals on neighborhoods and suggested implementing a point system to address issues such as noise complaints.

However, there were differing views among council members about the root cause of the housing shortage. Some, such as At-Large Councilor Frank Gaglianese III, placed blame on Hobart and William Smith Colleges for buying up a majority of houses in the city and taking them off the tax rolls. Others, like Ward 2’s Bill Pealer Jr., called for incentivizing single-family homeownership.

The issue will be brought to another meeting in the coming months.