Or: How Home Sharing is a Housing Rights, Human Rights, Senior Rights, Workers’ Rights, Women’s Rights, DISability Rights Issue

But not for the reasons you’ve been told…..
(Originally a series of Tweets at )

The hotel industry wants you to hate your neighbor so they can control the tourist industry

  • With the hotel tax, the city of L.A. makes more money per listing than Airbnb does:  14% tax. Airbnb’s fees come to 9-15%
  • We’re supposed to believe that it’s better to stay at a hotel then in communities.
  • When you stay at an Airbnb listing, your money stays in the community.
  • Local Airbnb listings help neighbors keep their homes and provide housing security and neighborhood stability.
  • The hotel industry’s stealth marketing campaign provides a dishonest image of who most Airbnb and home sharing hosts are.
  • Home sharing is domestic labor. It’s not passive income. We work hard.
  • Many hosts would consider longer term tenancy if it didn’t mean losing control over our own homes. We need that autonomy for safety.
  • Removing a problematic long term tenant/roommate is expensive, dangerous, adversarial. Removing a problematic Airbnb guest is easy.
  • Long term tenant/roommates can provide specific problems for women, elders, families with children and people w disabilities.
  • To remove someone after they’ve been in your home more than 30 days, requires going through the entire eviction process.
  • That’s emotionally, physically and financially dangerous to low income people, families, people on fixed incomes.
  • Short term rentals allow for more autonomy in one’s own home. That’s so important.
  • Supporters of the ordinance claim they are simply against “commercialized bnbs” but…..
  • THIS IS NOT WHAT THE ORDINANCE COVERS. This ordinance would apply specifically to bnbs in our own homes.
  • It would limit us to 180 days, and only one listing at a time, while also prohibiting any other home based business in that home.
  • Limiting us to only 180 days, is a limit of 18000$ a year. That’s not a living, especially in L.A.
  • The limiting of 1 group of guests allows THAT party house, but not more than 1 group of quiet guests.
  • Some people may have more than 1 room to let at a time.
  • No other business model is limited to 180 days and only 1 client at a time.
  • Home sharing provides stability to elders, people with disabilities, communities, families.
  • The largest demographic at any city hearing are people sharing our own homes.
  • We’re not seeing 100s of tenants in RSO units begging the city to take away their right to home share.
  • Many people rely on home sharing to cover the cost of mortgages & rents, INCLUDING owners & renters of RSO UNITS
  • Some people rent out their sofas so they can afford to have a place to live!
  • Many poorer families become homeowners by buying duplexes & triplexes.
  • But under this ordinance families who live in duplexes won’t be able to homeshare to meet their mortgage.
  • They won’t be able to home share even if they haven’t displaced anyone! Even if it’s their own family home!
  • Same with ppl who converted their duplex into a single family home.
  • Ellis eviction limitations make sense, but telling ppl they can’t homeshare even without displacement doesn’t.
  • EXCEPT when we understand that this whole thing is a land grab from the hotel industry. By “land grab” I mean “market share grab”.
  •  & smoke and mirrors for the developers who are destroying homes
  • What’s gentrifying Echo Park are the $3000 a month luxury single and 1 bedroom apartments.
  • Echo Park has enjoyed cultural and economic diversity for decades.
  • It’s only recently Echo Park has experienced aggressive displacement.
  • If we can’t homeshare, we may have to sell our house and leave. Lots of hosts are saying this. Do you hear us?
  • We have lived here for years. We, like many hosts are retired teachers. We taught generations of LA kids
  • We want to stay in the community we served with our labor for decades
  • Home sharing is a labor issue, but not for the reasons you think…
  • Home sharing allows retired workers to keep our homes.
  • It allows workers in the film industry, away on location to have homes to return to.
  • It’s a labor issue because home sharing creates jobs! It’s hard work.
  • 180 day limits (any limit to the number of days) not only threatens our own income, it makes providing stable work hours to employees, impossible.
  • It’s a housing rights issue! It allows low income homeowners and renters to keep our homes.
  • It’s a gentrification issue. We’re part of the community. Home sharing allows us to stay.
  • It’s a DISability rights issue. Many of us home share because we are home bound.
  • It’s a community issue. It allows many of us to stay in our communities, create jobs & be part of a neighborhood.
  • It’s a women’s rights issue (because having control of who we live with is essential to our safety).
  •  It’s a senior issue for all of those reasons.
  • Hotels have displaced and destroyed communities, so let’s not pretend they are somehow the better choice.
  • Hotels take $$ out of the city. Bnbs keep that money in the community.
  • Bnbs bring tourist dollars to communities, small businesses.
  • If you’re against commercialized bnbs, PASS THAT ORDINANCE, NOT THIS ONE.
  • If you want us to rent to Angelinos make it safer, by allowing us more control of who is in our homes.
  • We would gladly take in people with city vouchers who are currently unhoused.
  • But we can’t afford to enter into any relationship where we need a lawyer to get our own home back.
  • I’m tweeting for my home, here!
  • We are long time labor and human rights activists. A lot of hosts are.
  • Hotel industry has mischaracterized us. That’s really corrupt and dishonest of them.
  • Most of us are people who need to homeshare to have a place to live.
  • Most of us home share because other jobs aren’t available to us.
  • Many of us home share because we love this work and this city. Home sharing provides the city w revenue of 14%, so each listing you prohibit is less $ for vital services.
  • So consider seriously the home sharing you want to disallow & the good you could do with that $.
  • Opposed to bnbs- those who profit off of rental housing, hotel industry, developers & wealthy home owners.
  • We’re not seeing tenants crowding city chambers begging to be disallowed home sharing.
  • We’re hearing from a few nonprofits that get their money inspecting landlords.
  • Check their own IRS records. Their actual tenant base is very small.
  • Home sharing is a tenants’ rights issue. Rents are too damn high, even with rent control.
  • Tenants need to be allowed to home share, too.
  • I feel really strongly about this.
  • Developers love trashing Airbnb because it takes the attention away from what they are doing to the city.
  • I see so many older buildings torn down & replaced with unaffordable housing.
  • So many older buildings, family sized units, destroyed to make way for newer smaller units.
  • Developers are making a killing tearing down our city.
  • Put money into restoring our older units, supporting mom&pop landlords, subsidizing rents.
  • Create a real affordable housing policy
  • We provide these examples of real affordable housing strategies. The 14% taxes collected on the bnbs can go to fund these programs:
  • Those strategies would also provide real jobs.
  • The wealthy homeowners haven’t wanted to share their beaches or mountains w the rest of the city…
  • & that informs them on home sharing too.
  • Home sharing means those who can’t afford a beach/mountain home, can stay for an immediate get away.
  • It makes all of L.A. available to all of us.
  • When so called labor/housing rights orgs side w big biz & not home sharers they pit neighbor against neighbor, worker against worker.
  • They say “keep neighborhoods first” but they haven’t made any effort to work with home sharers.
  • Leading “housing rights” leaders who say out loud “yeah, some people will be hurt” as if that’s okay!
  • Follow the $ for who really opposes home sharing.
  • Tearing down entire 2 bedroom RSO courtyards for new development DOESN’T KEEP NEIGHBORHOODS FIRST.
  • The idea we need to turn L.A. into a highrise city doesn’t begin to tap on the space, buildings & housing options we already have.
  • Empty lots, boarded up buildings, backyard units are all under utilized.
  • L.A. is a beautiful city: urban farms, wildlife, open spaces, room for children to play.




  1. Emma I really like some of the arguments you make, such as:

    “Long term tenant/room mates can provide specific problems for women, elders, families with children and people w disabilities.”

    “To remove someone after they’ve been in your home more than 30 days, requires going through the entire eviction process.
    That’s emotionally, physically and financially dangerous to low income people, families, people on fixed incomes.
    Short term rentals allow for more autonomy in one’s own home. That’s so important.”

    I could add one more element to this which you might already have thought of, but It’s one that is very important to me and other women like myself. Namely, that single middle aged or elderly woman are the people who were traditionally the “innkeepers” or proprietors of boarding houses, lodging houses and “pensions” of the 18th and 19th centuries and before. This was a job that was available for women who didn’t have as many options as men, and this may still be true for such women today — particularly those who are SINGLE homeowners. It’s not easy to afford to keep a home when you’re single on a middle class or lower income level. So, there’s both a marital status and gender issue involved here. Very likely there is also a sexual orientation issue, as I believe more lesbians are either single or without children to support them, as they age.

    And this marital status issue comes into play in another way. Many cities have zoning laws which in essence express great bias towards (eg, in favor of) the nuclear family, and AGAINST single individuals. Some of these zoning laws stipulate that certain residential areas are for “single families” ( the very word “single family residence” contains this bias!) and this is codified into law, for instance, making it legal for a married couple with 10 children to live in a home, while it would be illegal for 12 people (or perhaps even 10 or 8 or 6) to live in that same house, if they were not blood relatives. These antiquated and heterosexist, anti-single person laws make it very difficult for people who choose or need to live with “non-standard” families such as a group of roommates.

    I even heard a story from a host friend of mine, about a group of adults who bought a house in Connecticut. They were I think 5 or 6 unrelated adults. They bought the house together, but were then sued by their neighbors, on the basis that they were not a “single family” and so it was not legal for them to live in THEIR OWN HOUSE in an area zoned for “single family residences” !! How insane is that!! The only way they were able to get around the law was to use an odd law in their support, which made an exception for live-in servants of a family. So they presented themselves as a couple of 2 with 4 live-in servants and that was the only way they were legally able to remain living together in the house that THEY ALL OWNED!! These kinds of laws need absolutely to be abolished.

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