Emma Rosenthal Hits Back

DragonflyHill Urban Farm’s, Dragonfly Team member,  Emma Rosenthal continues to add to the commentary on articles attacking the work of countless airbnb hosts.


The Llane report’s statistics are shoddy and unsubstantiated. They are shills for the building industry and the hotel industry, both of which have been destroying housing, especially rent stabilized housing, all over the city, often replacing family sized units with single and one bedroom $3000 a month luxury apartments.

The hotels hate airbnb because it allows guests to save considerably on travel costs. The developers like trashing airbnb because it takes all the attention off of the permanent changes and destruction they are wrecking all over the city.

If this were really about absentee landlords, then groups like Llane would specifically target abusive landlords and would demand the city do the same. Instead they are behind the proposed ordinance that would force the city to spend time and money enforcing EVERY bnb listing, including and specifically home sharing in private homes and would police relationships in one’s primary residence.

What becomes clear at hearing after hearing in L.A. is that many seniors, disabled people, families are using airbnb to keep our homes and create jobs. In an economy with high unemployment rates, cities should keep their hands off of home businesses and other efforts and reward people for creating jobs for ourselves, focusing only on the listings that cause a problem and not attack this new industry as a whole.

It should be noted that many of the seniors who home share, are retired L.A. teachers, who have served generations of L.A. children and who have been able to keep our homes because of home sharing. Many of us will be forced out of neighborhoods, like our neighbors displaced by gentrification and home demolitions because groups like Llane focused on airbnb instead of developers and absentee landlords. The proposed limits on airbnb are often just smokescreens to convince people they are protecting neighborhoods, while actually creating the laws to support the massive displacement going on in cities all over the U.S., where working people are pushed out and wealthier people are moving in.

The reactionary excuse for going after all bnb listings is that it is impossible to enforce the law solely against landlords. This is bunk, as the L.A. Housing office keeps records on all rental units in the city and all properties where people were removed from their housing when listings were taken off the rental market. That’s what the city needs to enforce. It already has the laws for that enforcement. That it hasn’t gone after abusive landlords is very telling. That the response by city officials and their supporters is to propose an ordinance that would go after all listings, specifically the listings in primary residences. Counting the number of days I rent out rooms in my own home and imposing limits that aren’t imposed on any other home businesses is just an outrage.


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