The Urban Redevelopment Authority has commissioned a more detailed survey of Singaporeans' views on short-term accommodation. This is because a consultation exercise earlier this year yielded mixed results. The survey is meant to complement that exercise, which received feedback from public consultations and also involved meetings with stakeholders. While consultation is a good idea in principle, the question is what another survey will yield when the views already obtained suggest there is a clear divergence between those for and against allowing Airbnb-style short-term rental of condominium apartments and stays. It is perhaps best for the authorities themselves to decide on the best way forward.
On one side of the divide are those who believe that private property owners should be free to do more or less as they like with their condo units. They argue that while curbs on rentals make sense with subsidised public housing, restrictions should not apply to private housing. This group holds the view that the Government should move with the times and global trends by allowing platforms such as Airbnb to operate fully; that the authorities should anticipate challenges, but ultimately cater to the sizeable market opportunities created by tourists looking for short-term accommodation here.
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