Re: “LOS ANGELES COMMITS TO ‘AGE-FRIENDLY’ FUTURE TO BETTER SERVE GROWING OLDER ADULT POPULATION”
I am a retired teacher, having taught thousands of L.A. school children. I have lived and worked in L.A. for over 30 years. Currently I am an airbnb super host, and like many retired elder women am able to continue to “age in place” because of home sharing. I would be devastated by many of the clauses of the proposed home sharing ordinance, especially the prohibitions on other income streams in the same household, the cap restrictions on the number of days and number of groups of guests allowed in a primary residence, the prohibition on home sharing in RSO units even when they are the primary residence of the host, and the prohibition against home sharing for 5 years in any RSO building that has been converted to a single family home, even when there have been no Ellis evictions or displacement. These are our homes, and being coerced into long term relationships because the city wants to legislate who I can live with and on what terms is dangerous and outrageously intrusive. While I may differ with others on my opinion on the limits to be imposed on whole house listings, the imposing on primary residencies will displace many of us and force us into the already overwhelmed rental market, or force us to relocate totally. If the city truly wants to create space for L.A. elders, as stated in the Mayor’s statement “LOS ANGELES COMMITS TO ‘AGE-FRIENDLY’ FUTURE TO BETTER SERVE GROWING OLDER ADULT POPULATION”
https://www.lamayor.org/los-angeles-commits-%E2%80%98age-friendly%E2%80%99-future-better-serve-growing-older-adult-population then please consider allowing us to use our homes to keep our homes, to find work in our own homes, in the face of a labor market that excludes us. Elder women hosts comprise a significant demographic in home sharing. The current ordinance would hurt many of us, especially the lowest income home sharing hosts.
The city should not be legislating the relationships we have in our own homes. This is incredibly intrusive and dangerous. The difference between long term room mate tenants and short term guests is also a safety and domestic violence issue. Elder low income women especially those with disabilities and other marginalizing identities are especially vulnerable, and the choice to enter into long term relationships should be a personal one, not a public one. While I would not be against renting out the extra rooms in my home to long term tenants, of my choice, to force us into long term relationships that can be difficult to sever, with strangers, is especially cruel. Problematic guests, leave, can be made to leave. Problematic room mate tenants can be quite destructive and the cost to end those relationships can be expensive and dangerous and can cost us our homes and our health. While many people enjoy cross generational kinship networks or long term friendship networks, and others can afford to live comfortably in their homes without cohabitation, for those who don’t have these options, home sharing is not a luxury and is not greed.
There are many home based businesses allowed in Los Angeles. None is as essentially residential nor has the degree of restrictions as those proposed for home sharing. Additionally, the income generated by taxing the BnBs is needed for many services in the city, including elder services. The demands of enforcement for the ordinance as written would require significant misallocation of resources from needed services to an apparatus that would count the number of days of short term lodging in every home in L.A. The apparatus for licensing and enforcement already exists, and with additional funding could better meet all the needs assigned to those offices. The finance office could provide business licenses to the BnBs just as they do for all other businesses including home based businesses, and the housing office could be in charge of inspecting and follow up of RSO units, and Ellis Evictions, assuring in general that tenant rights are being upheld. The city attorney could be instructed to enforce housing rights in general, not just as applies to the BnBs.
Only greed and mismanagement would create a whole new apparatus with six figure salaried administrators. Assigning more inspectors and clerks to the finance and housing offices would create more jobs in general, and would allow the city to better address safety and social needs to Angelinos in general and elders in particular.
Home sharing and short term rentals also provides housing to Angelinos between homes, as well as the unhoused (and vouchers for unhoused people could be offered, many hosts would be quite welcoming!) Short term rentals are the only alternative between the $300 a night hotel room and the 12 month lease. We are a necessary and contributing feature to the L.A. economy. Most of the concerns raised related to the BnBs are problems faced in cities in general.
I host out of my own home, and love welcoming visitors to our city and providing temporary housing to Angelinos in transition. Working from home allows me to monitor my guests and assure that they do not have a negative impact on my community, allows me to stay in my home, allows me to support small businesses and create jobs in my community. I love this city and want to stay here. Please address home sharing as one more way to empower elder members of the community and assure that as I age I can continue to live in my city, in my community, in my home.
DragonflyHill Urban Farm