New York City Looks to Crack Down on Airbnb Amid Housing Crisis

“After taking hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from the hotel industry, we’re not surprised the City Council refused to meet with their own constituents who rely on home sharing to pay the bills and then voted to protect the profits of big hotels,” Liz DeBold Fusco, a spokeswoman for Airbnb, stated in an announcement, including that the invoice would violate the privateness of the websites’ customers and topic them to “unchecked, aggressive harassment.”

The query of what could be greatest for “ordinary New Yorkers” was on the coronary heart of the controversy.

A report from the School of Urban Planning at McGill University, commissioned by the lodge employees’ union, discovered that almost half of the New York City rental income on Airbnb was earned by 10 p.c of the hosts within the metropolis, undercutting the corporate’s argument that common New Yorkers profit extensively from short-term leases.

“Occasional hosts might be the numerical majority of hosts, but they account for a surprisingly small proportion of the actual rental activity on Airbnb and earn a surprisingly small proportion of the actual revenue,” the report said.

An April report from the city comptroller’s office discovered that Airbnb was exacerbating town’s reasonably priced housing disaster, particularly in crowded or gentrifying neighborhoods like Greenpoint, Bedford-Stuyvesant, Chelsea and Midtown. Over all, renters paid an extra $616 million in 2016 due to Airbnb, in accordance to the report.

Airbnb disputed the methodology of both reports, accusing the McGill authors of getting an “anti-home-sharing bias.” And on Wednesday, the day of the City Council vote, an Airbnb host sued town, alleging retaliation for talking out in assist of home-sharing in June. Airbnb is financing the host’s go well with.

City officers stated the invoice centered primarily on large-scale industrial landlords who have been gaming the system.

“Yes, sometimes it’s the common New Yorker,” stated Councilwoman Carlina Rivera, who launched the invoice. “But many times, especially in my district, these are landlords who are taking rent-regulated units out of the housing stock because they’d rather get a lot more money per night.”

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