Glasgow residents donate free homes to activists during COP26

Glasgow owners have been scrambling to register with rental agencies and Airbnb in hopes of making thousands of pounds from visitors to the COP26 .

The number of inquiries from government officials and leaders, protesters, volunteers and others in need of a place to stay during the United Nations summit has skyrocketed in recent months.

The most popular locations are in the West End, near the SEC (Scottish Event Campus) where the talks are taking place. But with a major housing shortage across the city, virtually any location is considered marketable.

We reported last week that a Glasgow landlord was exposed on social media for asking for an additional $ 2,000 for a guest staying during COP26 and a quick look at rental prices across the city for next week shows properties offered for hundreds of pounds for a single night.

Currently, a one-bedroom apartment in Park Circus charges £ 893 a night, while the cheapest offer, a private room near Kelvinbridge Underground, will set you back £ 130 a night.

The price for staying just one night in the city could cost you hundreds of dollars as Airbnb rates skyrocket

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Earlier this month, the number of Airbnb bookings had fallen from 81% in 2020 to 303% in 2021 due to the event. The average daily rate for accommodation during the conference is around £ 333 – up 300% compared to the same week in 2019.

But not everyone is looking to make a profit.

Elizabeth Collins, an engineering project manager who owns her own property in the south, welcomes guests from Wales, London, Tanzania and Mexico – and isn’t asking for a dime.

Elizabeth's one bed apartment in the south will welcome people from all over the world over the next two weeks
Elizabeth’s one bed apartment in the south will welcome people from all over the world over the next two weeks

She said Glasgow Live: “I own a small T1 and I just wanted to help people who are involved in COP26, in particular those who cannot afford expensive housing.

“Their voices must also be heard, many people in the countries most affected by climate change are not able to afford housing here at the moment.

“We need these people, and everyone else doing the job that they are, to fight the climate emergency and have these important conversations at COP26.

The 28-year-old has returned to live with her parents, who also live in Glasgow, for the next fortnight so that she can give more space to her guests – from Wales, London, Tanzania and from Mexico.

Elizabeth is one of 1,057 hosts in Glasgow who opened their doors to help find 1,451 guests affordable accommodation in the city during the conference.

Volunteers who signed up for the COP26 Homestay Network, a collaboration between Stop Climate Chaos Scotland, the COP26 Coalition and Human Hotel, helped provide a total of 10,647 nights of accommodation.

However, there is still a long waiting list, which according to the latest tally was around 3,000 people.

Fiona Hooker of Stop Climate Scotland said: “Hundreds of people are actively looking for a place to stay – there have been 508 guest booking requests in the last 24 hours. So it’s not too late to register as a host.

Elizabeth herself listed a total of five guests at the summit, including a woman from Mexico who recently completed a master’s degree in law and development and is now seeking employment in the field of sustainable development, two young filmmakers, a Tanzanian in the 40s, working for an NGO and a Welsh woman involved in Extinction Rebellion.

“I’m in a privileged position now that I can let people stay for free. Previously, I might have charged a small amount to cover the bills. I think if people want to charge and make some money it’s fair, but some of the rates have been wild, ”Elizabeth said.

“The very expensive venues meant that the conference is not accessible to a large number of people who deserve to be here as much as the others.

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