Making Our Voices Heard: Comments!

Are short term rentals answer to coast’s low cost lodging shortage?

Emma’s Comment:

A quick glance at the airbnb web page will quickly challenge the outrageous assertions of those claiming it isn’t less expensive than a hotel. While one CAN choose luxury accommodations, one can also find listings for under 50$ a night. There’s a huge range. The listing for a home that costs more than $500 a night is in a very high end neighborhood, full of people who want to make sure they don’t have to share their streets with the rest of us. Boo Hoo. It’s a very easy fix for cities to work with listing agents like airbnb to arrange for payment of taxes, and many hosts opt to pay taxes on their own if the direct option isn’t available. Then cities have an extra revenue stream. In many cities, small businesses pay little or no taxes anyway, so it’s kinda a double standard, false issue.

While hotels and other large corporations that make up the tourist industry, take billions of dollars out of our cities, most of the money spent on short term housing goes directly to the communities where the listing is located, directly to the people providing the service. For example, airbnb collects 3% from hosts, and 6-11% from guests. That means that for 100$, 85-91$ go directly to the host. That’s a pretty unusual corporate model.

Most bnbs are owned by the people who live in those homes. Limits can be placed on investors who are buying up property, but for the most part, this is a way for people to stay in our homes, on our own terms. Telling us what kinds of relationships to have in our own homes is an outrageous imposition. Some of us don’t want long term tenants. We would rather maintain our own autonomy and control within our own living situation.

Home sharing creates jobs and housing stability, brings money into communities, not only for hosts, but for local businesses.

I get that the hotel industry and wealthier residents don’t like home sharing. They tend not to like sharing in general, though, so there is that.


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