While finding affordable housing in the Hudson Valley has long been difficult, the COVID-19 pandemic threw the problem into overdrive. The statistics are familiar: one study found a net gain of 30,000 residents in the Hudson Valley in 2020 alone, and at one point in 2020, the city of Kingston had the fastest rising home prices of anywhere in the United States.
Short-term rentals are one part of the problem, says Brahvan Ranga, the political director of FTM. “The crux of the issue is absentee investors coming in, buying up properties, and taking up housing stock so they can make a quick profit off of vacation rentals instead of renting them out to long-term residents,” he says.
A variety of data illustrates the severity of the issue. A recent report by the vacation rental company StayMarquis found that $278 million was spent on short-term rentals in the Hudson Valley in 2021, a 99 percent increase from the previous year. Growth was concentrated in Ulster and Greene counties, but every Hudson Valley county showed a revenue increase.