Monday, May 09, 2016

Best practices

Weird that our international celebrity Mayor who prides himself on taking wisdom from the experience of cities around the world to inform policy decisions here in New Orleans is so quick to ignore results like these.
The original idea behind Airbnb was that people could rent out air mattresses or spare rooms in their own homes, but the platform quickly expanded to include rentals of whole apartments and houses. Then landlords started to realize that they could bring in vastly more money by offering short-term rentals on sites like Airbnb and HomeAway than by offering year-long leases to traditional tenants. That’s why Towers and other critics blame Airbnb for gentrification, displacement, and the rising cost of rent.

The data backs critics up: Last year, San Francisco’s Budget and Legislative Analyst’s Office found that between 11 and 23 percent of vacant units in the city’s housing market were being offered as short-term rentals. In New York City, more than 35,000 listings for private short-term rental units were on Airbnb in 2014, and up to 72 percent of them appeared to violate city or state rules, according to the New York state attorney general.
People want to talk about it in terms of tax policy or tourism promotion or  "quality of life" issues. But Airbnb is first and foremost an affordable housing issue. It's easy to determine how out of touch your leaders are just by watching how reluctant they are to even address that point.

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