Getting Rid of Smoke and Other Strong Odors

By Emma Rosenthal

Information on how we keep our space odor free without using fragranced products that simply mask the odor and can cause problems for fragrance and chemically sensitive guests.

  • Links provided  to pages where the products can be purchased and where descriptions, additional information, videos and owners manuals may also be available. At this point in time we receive no compensation for reviewing or recommending products.

Part of our DISability affirmative policy of making our space comfortable and welcoming for DISfolx, is our work toward a fragrance free space for people who have chemical sensitivities and allergies. This isn’t easy or always enforceable with guests traveling from all over the world, but we do have a no aerosol and no smoke policy.  We provide guests with scent free products, but guests like to use their own products a lot of the time and most products come with some synthetic or natural fragrance and either can be disruptive and dangerous to other guests or members of our household

We publish a list of products we use and if a guest is sensitive to them, we can stop using that product in the days or weeks up to their visit. if they let us know ahead of time

But we’ve had a few occasions where people violated our no smoking policy. In one case, an acupuncturist using our space decided to light “just a little bit” “for just a second” of white sage, inside our structure, even though we had specifically discuss smudging, smoke and even burned herbs that ARE consistent with an acupuncture practice. The no smoking rule was clearly stated in our contract with this acupunturist who we immediately removed from and banned from the premises. They attempted to get a refund but paypal and their credit card company sided with us.

Another guest left the room with a strong smell of cannibis which is 1. against our policies because of the smoke, and 2. against our policies as long as having or using pot remains federally criminalized. It’s clearly stated in our rules. We did not see the guest smoke and we did not see any ashes or joints butts (we don’t like the word, “roach” in our bnb!).  We messaged the guest that we noticed a strong smell of  marijuana and the guest declined to respond to our concerns.

In both cases we worked our mojo, because as we’ve stated elsewhere, we’re not just clean, we’re allergy clean. That day, the day the flamer checked out, we had a guest coming in that had specifically informed us of the chemical sensitivity, so we HAD to get the sell out of the room.

Getting the Smell Out of the Room

  1. First we  ran the filter setting on the air conditioner. A good AC is also a powerful air filter, which is important when the home has people with strong allergies living and staying there. Our AC is a   Frigidaire 12,000 BTU 115V Window-Mounted Compact Air Conditioner with Temperature Sensing Remote Control Model number FFRE1233S1
    Frigidaire 12,000 BTU 115V Window-Mounted Compact Air Conditioner with Temperature Sensing Remote Control. Model number FFRE1233S1

    Frigidaire 12,000 BTU 115V Window-Mounted Compact Air Conditioner with Temperature Sensing Remote Control. Model number FFRE1233S1

    It’s not the strongest AC, but it does have a filter that is very easy to clean and reusable. You simply remove it, wash it and put it back. We clean our filters at least once a week.
    For instructions on how to clean an window mounted AC filter

    Filter for Frigidaire 12,000 BTU 115V Window-Mounted Compact Air Conditioner with Temperature Sensing Remote Control. Model number FFRE1233S1

    Filter for Frigidaire 12,000 BTU 115V Window-Mounted Compact Air Conditioner with Temperature Sensing Remote Control. Model number FFRE1233S1

  2. Then we ran our vacuum cleaner. We have a favorite, under 100$, less than 10 pounds, vacuum cleaner. It’s the

    Eureka Mighty Mite Pet Lover Bagged Canister Vacuum Cleaner, 3684F

    Eureka Mighty Mite Pet Lover Bagged Canister Vacuum Cleaner, 3684F A small, light weight, purple canister vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter, on a wood floor next to a colorful area rug.

    Eureka Mighty Mite Pet Lover Bagged Canister Vacuum Cleaner, 3684F

    We own several, so our team members don’t have to carry the vacuum from different floors or buildings. It’s light weight also for safety, and it has a HEPA filter for removing odors, dander and other allergens. It’s amazing. Make sure you buy the one that has a HEPA filter. That’s really important.

    You can run the vacuum in any area where there are odors or allergens. Just run it, leave it running, like it’s a fan or a filter, it will clear the air. We learned this by accident, noting how clean the air got in any room when we were vacuuming.

    The HEPA filters are inexpensive and easy to replace. You know it’s time, when the air doesn’t smell amazingly clean when you use it. They last a long time.  They use

    Genuine Eureka MM HEPA Filter 60666B 

     

    Genuine Eureka MM HEPA Filter 60666B - 1 filter

    Genuine Eureka MM HEPA Filter 60666B – 1 filter

  3. Run an ozone generator. We purchased the Enerzen Commercial Ozone Generator 6000mg Industrial O3 Air Purifier Deodorizer Sterilizer and submitted it with a claim to airbnb after guests left a strong odor in a room when they had fermented foods and the odor would not leave. We chose this generator because the price was excellent and the reviews by consumers were very good.
    That was our very first experience trying to remove stubborn, permeating odors. But the time the flagrant flamers had left, we were pros. We were able to remove the smell of the cannibis without having the make a claim.

    Enerzen Commercial Ozone Generator 6000mg Industrial O3 Air Purifier Deodorizer Sterilizer A small silver colored box with a timer dial, a handle a light and vent holes.

    Enerzen Commercial Ozone Generator 6000mg Industrial O3 Air Purifier Deodorizer Sterilizer

    If you need to use an ozone generator, if steps 1 and 2 are not enough, follow directions carefully. There are dangers to not using the ozone generator correctly.

The incoming guest with chemical sensitivities didn’t notice any odor in the room and had no complaints. We were able to remove the smell of smoke and herb within a few hours, with only a few minutes of additional labor on our part. We didn’t need to even submit a claim to airbnb. We did note in the guest’s review that the room had a strong smell of cannibis and when we messaged the guest they declined to respond.

Domestic labor is considered menial and everyone is expected to know how to clean house, but running a five star B&B we’re finding that house cleaning is highly skilled and we just get better and better.

 

 

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Hotel Industry: Gaslights and Obfuscations

Written by Emma Rosenthal
Photography by Emma Rosenthal

“Ruining neighborhoods” *  “Hotels in residential communities” * “Displacement”  “Rising housing costs”
“Neighbors not tourists!”

The hotel industry’s rhetoric against home sharing and short term rentals more accurately describes the hotel industry itself.  How did it manage this magic trick? One way is via front groups heavily funded and run by the hotel industry: tax deductible nonprofit organizations that lobby cities and astroturf to provide the illusion that the mobilization against home sharing is a popular concern and not a corporate one.

After the City of Boston passed an ordinance on home sharing, the hotel lobby issued this statement, as stated in this Boston Globe article:

“The trade association for the hotel industry, meanwhile, cheered the council for “acting to protect Boston from exploitation at the hands of wealthy, out-of-town interests who have been buying up thousands of housing units in order to turn them into illegal hotels,” adding, “Today’s action preserves the rights of real home-sharers while reining in the bad actors who are contributing to Boston’s skyrocketing housing costs and wreaking havoc on many of our neighborhoods.””

If you’re really thinking your head should be spinning.

Isn’t that EXACTLY what hotels do?

Don’t they destroy blocks and blocks of affordable and low income housing to build luxury hotels and doesn’t the presence of the hotels cause a rise in surrounding housing costs? Aren’t the hotels mostly multinational corporations, aka “wealthy out of town interests”?

They love to say “illegal hotels”, and they use this term very liberally to include neighbors renting out rooms in our homes. They use it in every city, it’s part of their global plan for combating home sharing. They cling to the legalities because in many cities, they’ve paid for laws that protect them and other big businesses against the interests of the people in those cities. This criminalization of labor, of people and of survival is key to neoliberalism and displacement.

This ordinance may return a few thousand homes to rental stock, but it will also put a lot of people out of work. While opponents of home sharing like to pretend that home sharing is passive labor, these rooms don’t clean themselves.

Links and resources regarding the hotel industry, gentrification and displacement:
https://dragonflyhill.wordpress.com/2018/05/21/the-hotel-industry-doesnt-care-about-you-or-your-community-there-goes-the-neighborhood/

 

Our Reviews in May: What Wonderful and Kind Guests We Have!

Chelsea
Chelsea

From Atlanta, GA · June 2018  ·   The Lotus Room on our Urban Farm: Walk to DTLA


Virginia
Virginia

From Dayton, OH · May 2018  ·   DragonflyHill Urban Farm’s 2 Room Lavender Suite


David
David

From New York, NY · May 2018  ·   DragonflyHill Urban Farm: Frida Room: Walk to DTLA


Meghan
Meghan

From Terre Haute, IN · May 2018  ·   DragonflyHill Urban Farm’s 2 Room Lotus Suite


Bridget
Bridget

From Huntington, NY · May 2018  ·   Rose Sage Room at DragonflyHill Urban Farm


Danni
Danni

From Slippery Rock, PA · May 2018  ·   DragonflyHill Urban Farm: Frida Room: Walk to DTLA


Lena
Lena

May 2018  ·   The Lavender Room at DragonflyHill Urban Farm


Joshua
Joshua

Marcela
Marcela

 The Lavender Room at DragonflyHill Urban Farm


謝旻宏
謝旻宏

 The Lotus Room on our Urban Farm: Walk to DTLA


Kim
Kim

 DragonflyHill Urban Farm: Frida Room: Walk to DTLA


Patricia
Patricia

 DragonflyHill Urban Farm: Frida Room: Walk to DTLA


Sharan
Sharan

 The Lotus Room on our Urban Farm: Walk to DTLA

Products We Love: A Tempest in a Facebook Post

There’s a time when the operation of the machine becomes so odious, makes you so sick at heart, that you can’t take part! You can’t even passively take part! And you’ve got to put your bodies upon the gears and upon the wheels…upon the levers, upon all the apparatus, and you’ve got to make it stop! And you’ve got to indicate to the people who run it, to the people who own it, that unless you’re free, the machine will be prevented from working at all!”  Mario Savio, Berkeley, California, December 2, 1964

Friend of DragonflyHill, Local activist and poet Matt Sedillo posted an article to his Facebook wall delineating the dangers of household cleaning products to the women who clean house: their own or others.

IMPACT OF CLEANING PRODUCTS ON WOMEN’S LUNGS AS DAMAGING AS 20-A-DAY CIGARETTE HABIT: STUDY

Immediately three members of Team Dragonfly: Emma, Xeres and Kari joined the discussion. We clean together. We keep our own space: DragonflyHill Urban Farm, 5 star clean for ourselves and our Airbnb guests, and we also clean houses in the neighborhood. Our definition of clean, goes beyond the surface of the appearance of clean, and includes safe and healthy.  We carefully chose products that are safe for guests, residents and workers. We are mindful of the impact of fragrances and other chemicals. Some of us are more chemical sensitivity than others, so we already were already using  mostly fragrance free and nontoxic products. We even make our own all purpose cleaner.   We publish a list of the products we use and advise future guests to let us know in advance of their visit if they have any sensitivity to these products so we can temporarily suspend the use of those products, in the weeks up to their arrival.

There are a few products we use that have strong odors, like Dawn Dish Soap, Bleach, and Dish Washing Machine Detergent, that don’t have acceptable scent free alternatives for, yet.

But there were two very important oversights not only to the article Matt posted, but also to the discussions we saw and participated in on many Facebook walls, as this article circulated: While most of the discussion around this article focused on the chemicals that were inhaled, the article provided no solutions (no pun intended!), and there was no examination in the article or the study it reported,  of the role masks could play in preventing this damage nor were there any discussion of the roll of sprays, where fine particles are airborne and inhaled. The lungs are very fragile and sensitive so even nontoxic chemicals (water is a chemical, everything is a chemical) could be hazardous.

AMMEX - VPF62100-BX - Medical Vinyl Gloves - Disposable, Powder Free, Exam

Gloves and masks are also really important safety equipment.  These also help workers who have allergies. For those of us with dust or chemical allergies. This is very important. (We also use vinyl gloves because of the risk of latex allergic reactions.)

Clear plastic spray bottles with spray top.One of the products we use are spray bottles. Not only do we make our own all purpose cleaner, we also dilute Dawn Dish Soap and chlorine bleach, in these spray bottles. By switching to squeeze bottles we could eliminate a lot of the airborne particles that might be damaging our health. But we keep a reserve of these bottles, so changing to squeeze bottles would mean throwing out these bottles and having to find new bottles we liked as much. By putting a squeeze top on these bottles, we wouldn’t have to throw away these bottles and could make our workspace safer. We looked at the products we used andSmart water bottle with sports cap. decided which ones could be and needed to be converted to squeeze bottles and then went on our search for squeeze tops. We found that Smart Water sports bottles had a top that fit on our bottles perfectly. (All the better that one of our team member drinks the electrolyte enhanced water, for health reasons.) We switched out the tops, and made sure we had an ample supply of gloves and masks on site as well.

This tempest in a Facebook post is an ongoing discussion  at DragonflyHill Urban Farm, as we brainstorm newer ways to assure that we don’t throw our bodies on the gears of our own self destruction as we constantly look for alternatives to the demands of capitalism on our body politic. We cannot step outside of the economic system we are in. That is illusion, the illusion of individual choice is one of the pillars of the machine Savio demands we destroy. But we can explore alternative ways to organize our work, so that our workplaces and our homes don’t injure us, and in anticipation of an age when we will all have the true liberty to organize our work around our own health, communities, families, needs, interests and desires.

Disposable Face Mask Premium Soft Earloop 3-Ply Hypoallergenic Medical Surgical Dental Flu Procedural, 1 Box, Blue

Links for purchase:

The Hotel Industry Doesn’t Care About You or Your Community: There Goes the Neighborhood

Photography, Writing and Research by Emma Rosenthal

-How the Hotel Industry Taught you to Hate Your Neighbors, or If You Think Your Neighbor Renting Out Rooms in Their Home So They Can Pay The Rent, is YOUR class enemy, You Need to Check Which Side Of the Struggle  You’re On

MarriottLow_43A6428It truly is amazing how the hotel industry has successfully convinced so many people that staying in hotels is socially more responsible than staying in communities and supporting the home sharing cottage industry. The corporate rhetoric against home based hosting of short term rentals and the incredibly negative comments about hosts, tourists and travelers has poisoned relationships, marginalized and criminalized labor intensive work, pitted neighbor against neighbor and contributed to the displacement and gentrification of Los Angeles, all while pretending to care about neighborhoods and communities. But the actual record contradicts these claims.

There’s ABSOLUTELY nothing that can be said (falsely) about home sharing that can’t be said TRUTHFULLY about hotels on an even larger scale.

  • Hotels displace families and cause housing costs to rise. Gentrification is highest in DTLA, in the zip codes with the newest hotels.
  • Hotels are often built on the destruction of entire city blocks of homes and communities,  usually among poor and marginalized neighborhoods.
  • Entire blocks are destroyed, for the only purpose of creating hotels.
  • Hotels take billions of dollars OUT of the city and put them in the pockets of investors and CEOs.
  • Hotels provide low paying, dangerous and dehumanizing jobs in horrible working conditions.
  • Hotels displace small businesses.
  • Hotels take up space that could go for affordable housing,
  • Hotels cause rents and housing costs to rise: What housing is allowed to exist in the proximity of the hotels is either new luxury expensive housing, (including some multi-million dollar condos in the upper floors of the hotels) or gentrified older, existing housing.
  • While the hotel lobby complains that home sharing hosts don’t pay taxes (in most cases they do), hotels get huge compensations and dispensations from cities. Hotels collect guest taxes (transient occupancy taxes or TOT) but they get to keep the money for their own expenses.
  • Hotels are the principle funding source for the nonprofits that are on the forefront of the struggle against home sharing and pretend they care about communities, but clearly they do not.
  • Hotels lobby for and contribute to the criminalization of small businesses and labor and use the language of criminalization to stigmatize home sharing.
  • Hotels and the hotel lobby contribute to broken policing policies that contribute to criminalization of small businesses and work by marginalized people.
  • The Hotel Industry and lobby claims that home sharing takes away jobs from union workers but in Los Angeles, they are opening several new high rise luxury hotels and in neighborhoods like Koreatown, Hollywood and Silverlake they are opening boutique hotels in the heart of the community. If there are so few hotel jobs now, why would they be investing in, building and opening new hotels?
  • The hotel industry gives thousands of dollars to “nonprofit” hotel lobby front organizations like ShareBetter and Keep Neighborhoods First, meanwhile they do nothing to provide affordable housing to the community and make sweetheart deals with the company union to keep wages low and working conditions poor.
  • The hotel industry keeps building “onward and upward” and opening new luxury hotels, with private condos on the top floors.  They complain that airbnb listings are unfair competition and take away from the “fair playing field” (Where everyone needs billions of dollars to get into the game, it’s just not FAIR when someone with an extra bedroom or a spare sofa can make a few bucks to get by.)
  • Those who buy the luxury condos in the upper floors of luxury hotels have all the hotel amenities including housekeeping. And while housekeepers in private homes are paid between $15-$30 an hour, cleaning staff in hotels often make little more than minimum wage, with the company union negotiating lower wages for unionized hotel workers in sweet heart contracts with the bosses and the city government.

Tweet by Emma Rosenthal April 9 at 7:00am · The irony of the hotel industry and their well funded, hotel funded nonprofit front groups, accusing home sharing hosts of "hotelizing" neighborhoods. Isn't that EXACTLY WHAT HOTELS DO?

Links:

Onward and Upward: New Hotel Construction from the Industry That Claims Home Sharing is Taking Away Jobs

IntercontinentalLow_43A6168

Gentrification in the Hotel Barrio: High End Housing in Hotel Districts

For a cool 3 mill$ you could live in the affordable housing provided by the Ritz Carlton in DTLA. Some of the units sold in the low 1 mill$.

  • High above the city, you can look down on everyone else.
    http://www.ritzcarlton.com/en/residences/los-angeles
    LOS ANGELES, CA: THE RITZ-CARLTON RESIDENCES AT LA LIVE MarriottLow_43A6428
  • HURRY NOW BEFORE they’re all sold out!
    https://www.condo.com/building/Ritz-Carlton-Residences-at-LA-Live-Los-Angeles-CA-90015-91834548
    RITZ CARLTON RESIDENCES AT LA LIve 54 Floors ~ Los Angeles Skyline Views: $600,000-$3,350,000
    “DESCRIPTION OF RITZ CARLTON RESIDENCES AT LA LIVE
    Ritz Carlton Residences at LA Live is a stunning collection of upscale condominiums above the Ritz Carlton Hotel in the South Park District of downtown Los Angeles, CA. Ritz Carlton Residences are available on floors 27 to 52 of this jaw-dropping 54 story tower, hosting 224 contemporary condominiums with incredible panoramic views of the Los Angeles skyline. Ritz Carlton’s residences are available as one, two or three bedroom units over expansive open floor plans, with an impeccable attention to detail on design and the finest finishes throughout these chic homes. The Ritz Carlton Residences at LA Live has a wealth of amazing amenities for residents, which include a sky lounge with swimming pool, cabanas, a fitness center, a spa & salon, a screening room and a billiards room. Residents of the Ritz Carlton have access to the hotel’s services, offering the five-star treatment one would expect to find solely in a first-class hotel, including a personal-assistance concierge, valet parking, room service, housekeeping and daily complimentary breakfast. LA Live is an expansive 5.6m square foot entertainment complex which hosts an amazing array of amenities, including ballrooms, bars, concert theaters, restaurants and movie theaters. The Ritz Carlton Residences at LA Live is conveniently located for easy access around LA thanks to major highways and nearby metro stations.”

    In Beverly Hills: Condos in the hotel: private residences with hotel amenities. Unfortunately these affordable units, ranging in price from 4-16$million have all sold out. You’ll have to slum it in DTLA at the Ritz Carlton, while supplies last.
  • https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/montage-residence-beverly-hills-sells-686072
    Montage Residence Beverly Hills Sells Last Unit
  • https://www.montagehotels.com/beverlyhills/residences/residential-ownership/
    Montage Beverly Hills

Indigo Hotel next to condos in the same development: Tall blue buildings covered in mirrored windows, against a blue sky. Also pictured, other tall buildings including the Residence Inn and a city street with parked cars.

  • While the penthouse condos in the hotels often offer private entrances and parking for residents who don’t want to mingle with the hotel’s more transient guests, home buyers can of course,  take it up a notch: you can get everything a high end brand provides, but the newest trend doesn’t force hotel condo owners to share an elevator and other amenities or even the same address with hotel guests, even in Beverly Hills. The new Four Seasons Condos have the hotel name but a totally (but nearby) separate building.
    http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-four-seasons-condos-20150821-story.html
    Four Seasons Adds Posh Condos Near Beverly Hills
    The 50million$ penthouse will have a monthly “dues” (on top of the mortgage payment) of $5000 a month. Now who wouldn’t want to spend their pocket change on this little trinket?
  • Similar luxury condos, in DTLA, near but separate from the luxury hotels that brought higher end housing to this “up and coming” neighborhood
    http://www.condohotelcenter.com/alerts/solair.html
    Solair, Luxury in Downtown Los Angeles: Oversized Condos from $489,500
  • https://la.curbed.com/2018/3/5/17081928/metropolis-condo-tower-for-sale-greenland-usa

    Metropolis condo tower in Downtown Los Angeles is now for sale

    The neighboring Hotel Indigo went up for sale in January

Sweetheart Deals in the Big City

“It’s a Big Club, and You Ain’t in It” -George Carlin

(The hotel industry gets huge subsidies from the city. Imagine if the city created similar subsidy programs to pay down mortgages or student loans?)


Hotel Subsidies From the City:

Intercontinental Hotel and other older buildings in Downtown Los Angeles. Intercontinental is a new hotel with glass and mirrored panels. cars, traffic, people

With Unions Like This, Who Needs Bosses?
Unite Here’s Sweetheart Deals

  • The more union members, the more dues the union collects. So it’s in their interest to get hotels to unionize. To do so, they offer “sweetheart contracts” and operate as “company unions” in the boss’ interests and against the interests of the workers.
    By comparison, teachers who make well over minimum wage– salaries for teachers in Los Angeles start at $50,368 and include comprehensive benefits, sick leave and vacation leave packages, pay a monthly dues of $ 84.52.  It’s outrageous that minimum wage workers pay only $30 a month less than teachers whose top salary is almost $90,000 a year.
    “Under an obscure provision of the city’s wage hike, unionized hotels were granted an exemption allowing them to pay their employees less. The result is that Martinez, who pays $56.50 every month for membership in the hotel workers union Unite Here, now makes less than those doing the same job in non-union workplaces….
    …Critics see such provisions as a cynical collusion between politicians and big-city labor interests. By making unions the “low-cost option” for businesses seeking to avoid paying better wages, they assert, the exemptions are designed to drive up union membership — and revenue from dues — at the expense of workers….
    …Alicia Yale, 42, a waitress at the Sheraton Universal, said she’s dumbfounded that Unite Here Local 11, which represents hotel employees in Los Angeles and Orange counties, fought for her to make less money than workers at non-union hotels…
    …”Why is it more of a benefit to be in a union? The union isn’t really doing anything for us,” she said. “It’s completely upside-down. They want to pay us less than the minimum wage.”…
    …Yale, a mother of two young children, said she was unconvinced by labor leaders’ arguments that the exemptions were designed to secure better benefits. She said many low-wage workers at the Sheraton lack health insurance because the union’s contract requires them to work at least 100 hours a month for five consecutive months to qualify…
    …At a seasonal business, she said, that can be harder than it sounds. Yale said she spent about a year and a half at the Sheraton before getting health benefits.”
    http://www.latimes.com/local/cityhall/la-me-union-minimum-wage-20160410-story.html
    Outrage after big labor crafts law paying their members less than non-union workers
  • https://capitalandmain.com/maximum-distortion-about-hotel-minimum-wages-0505
    Maximum Distortion About Hotel Minimum Wages
    After the triumphant 2014 passage of Los Angeles’ $15.37 hourly minimum wage ordinance for city hotel workers, there came a moment of puzzlement for many at City Hall and elsewhere. Why was L.A.’s large hospitality union asking that some of its members be paid less than the promised wage? Was this, as some suggested, a cynical deal to to make a union shop more attractive to employers by making sure union workers got paid less than non-union employees?”

Unite Here’s Union Busting

Unite Here doesn’t want Airbnb workers to be unionized. They want to put those workers out of work and the hosts and Airbnb out of business. When a union blocks unions from organizing, that’s not solidarity, that’s union busting. 

Two lone mailboxes in an empty lot after housing demolition.Destruction of Low Income Housing

Vacated courtyard apartments, boarded up.

The Root of the Problem: Displacement Downtown Before 2000

  • “The early efforts of property owners to seize control of the development of Downtown Los Angeles was propelled even further with, what is possibly, the most important project in the area’s recent history, the Staples Center. Planning for the Staples Center began around 1996 when Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG) and the City of Los Angeles started talks that were formalized in the Los Angeles Arena Motion of Understanding By and Between the City of Los Angeles and the L.A. Arena Development Company, a subsidiary of AEG, on January 15, 1997. The agreement declared that the area where the proposed sports complex would be built, known as South Park, was “blighted and in need of economic revitalization” (Parlow, 2002, p. 529). Revitalization was central to the city’s justification for the project. For example, when the Disposition and Development Agreement (DDA) was finally approved in October 1997, “The City Council defended its action by pointing to its governmental duty to encourage economic development….in a manner that will encourage redevelopment in surrounding areas” (Parlow, 2002, pp. 529-530). The optimism that these statements embraced was not entirely blind. Instead, they embodied a larger plan in which the Staples Center was merely the first step. Thus, while construction on the Staples Center was under way, AEG expanded to create an entire sports-retail-entertainment complex, a “Times Square of the West,” that it termed, “L.A. Live.” The complex included the 4 million square foot / $2.5 billion downtown Los Angeles sports, residential & entertainment      district featuring venues such as Nokia Theatre L.A. LIVE, Club Nokia and The Conga Room; the GRAMMY Museum…a 54-story, 1001-room convention “headquarters” destination (featuring The Ritz-Carlton and JW Marriott hotels and 224 luxury…Regal Cinemas L.A. LIVE Stadium 14 movie theatre, “broadcast” facilities for ESPN, along with entertainment, restaurant and office space making it the region’s most active live content and event campus. (Staples Center, n.d.)
    The dual dislocation of Downtown’s street people and low-end merchants serving the Latino community caused by the formalized efforts of property owners and entertainment-led development is partially reflected in the pattern of property sales and eviction. Commercial sales represented a significant proportion of all property sales in Downtown and in fact, commercial sales made up the majority (16.2%) of all sales in the area. These were followed by sales of multi-family residential buildings, condominiums, and industrial sites at 13.8%, 13.7%, and 13.3% respectively. Together, the four types of land uses made up just under two-thirds (57.1%) of all property sales. The mix shows that despite the centrality of office and financial activities that Downtown is generally known for, during most of the 1990s, development was led by commercial, residential and industrial uses and evictions followed suit…
    it is apparent that certain forms of property development and investment, notably commercial and multi-family residential, were critical to a new group of property owners and planners who sought to transform Downtown. The vision of these early property actors has largely been fulfilled. Not only have more BIDs emerged to cover almost the entire area of Downtown, but through the lobbying of speculative property owners set on transforming Downtown into an area of increased consumption as well as well production, the Adaptive Reuse Ordinance was passed in 1999. Once approved, the ordinance enabled owners to convert their industrial and commercial buildings to residential use and consequently set the stage for the significant gentrification that would unfold in the first decade of the new century. The results offer the possibility that displacement, rather than being the byproduct of gentrification, can also function as a precursor.“
    https://dpla.wisc.edu/sites/dpla.wisc.edu/files/inline-files/Sims%20-%20paper.pdf
    More than Gentrification: Geographies of Capitalist Displacement in Los Angeles 1994-1999

The Hotel Industry Agenda, the Nonprofit Industrial Complex, Corporate Espionage and Stealth Advertising

The hotel industry has several front groups established as nonprofit charities, often with misleading names like Keep Neighborhoods First, or Share Better. By establishing themselves as charities they can use tax deductible funds to spy on private citizens. These corporate spies are not subject to freedom of information act, nor do they require search warrants or other legal limits put on governmental agencies. They can share this information with police departments and other public offices while their targets have no due process or oversight rights.

 

 



 

March & April Reviews From Our Airbnb Guests


我也是水晶
我也是水晶
DragonflyHill

Response from DragonflyHill:We accessed your review via Google translate and understood your review to state: “Compared to the downtown area, the breakfast time is 9:45. The landlord is not very happy to help with the rental. This is a little strange.”

We work very hard to meet all of our guests’ needs and offer suggestions and support as much as we can. We regret that you were not happy with the support we gave you and are very sorry we were not able to help you. You asked us to call you a taxi and we suggested you call a lyft and gave you a discount code. You didn’t have phones that worked for this area and we suggested you get a burner phone or a sim card because this is a very large city and we were concerned for your safety. We called you a taxi that first day, but when you wanted us to call you one very early the next morning so that you wouldn’t miss your tour and ride out of the city, we were not able to oblige you and continued to try to find solutions for you, all of which you rejected. Airbnb listings are not hotels and we don’t have a 24 hour concierge desk. We regret that we disappointed you, but perhaps your expectations were not realistic.
Google translate: 我们通过谷歌翻译访问了您的评论,并了解您的评论以陈述: “与市中心相比,早餐时间是9点45分,房东不太乐意帮忙租房,这有点奇怪。” 我们非常努力地满足所有客人的需求,并尽可能提供建议和支持。我们很遗憾,您对我们给予您的支持不满意,非常抱歉,我们无法为您提供帮助。你让我们打电话给你一辆出租车,我们建议你打电话给一个lyft并给你一个折扣代码。您没有电话为此区域工作,我们建议您购买刻录机电话或SIM卡,因为这是一个非常大的城市,我们担心您的安全。我们第一天给你打了一辆出租车,但是当你希望我们在第二天早上给你打电话时,为了不让你错过你的旅行并且离开这座城市,我们无法强迫你并继续尝试为你找到解决方案,所有你拒绝的。 Airbnb列表不是酒店,我们没有24小时服务台。我们很遗憾,我们让你失望,但也许你的期望不现实或友善。

 DragonflyHill Urban Farm: Frida Room: Walk to DTLA


Dagmar
Dagmar

 Rose Sage Room at DragonflyHill Urban Farm


Rebecca
Rebecca

 DragonflyHill Urban Farm: Frida Room: Walk to DTLA


Vivian
Vivian

 DragonflyHill Urban Farm’s 2 Room Lotus Suite


Vijeta
Vijeta

 The Lavender Room at DragonflyHill Urban Farm


Navid
Navid

 The Lotus Retreat on our Urban Farm: Walk to DTLA


Jared
Jared

 Rose Sage Room at DragonflyHill Urban Farm


Oanh
Oanh

 The Lotus Retreat on our Urban Farm: Walk to DTLA


Alex
Alex

 The Lavender Room at DragonflyHill Urban Farm


Veronica
Veronica

 The Lavender Room at DragonflyHill Urban Farm



Margaret
Margaret

 The Lotus Retreat on our Urban Farm: Walk to DTLA


Tianchen
Tianchen

 DragonflyHill Urban Farm: Frida Room: Walk to DTLA


Rachel
Rachel

 DragonflyHill Urban Farm: Frida Room: Walk to DTLA


Victoria & Mike
Victoria & Mike
DragonflyHill

Response from DragonflyHill:Thank you for your feedback and we’re glad you appreciated our bedding. We put great attention to detail and we know the importance of a good night’s sleep. We’re not sure what you mean by no frills; so to clarify for potential guests considering staying here: You had a 2 room suite for the price of one room. Each room has an air conditioner, an air filter, a heater, a refrigerator, original artwork, antiques, luxury bedding. an ironing board, iron, sewing kit, first aid kit, extra blankets, flash lights, fire extinguisher, smoke and CO2 alarms, ceiling fans, hardwood floors, tv with netflix, and hair dryers. One room has a fire place and the other has a walk in closet and a large desk. We provide soft sound machines and ear plugs. The house is a restored craftsman house with expert interior decorating by a resident artist, original artwork, antiques, a fully stocked kitchen for guest and host use, a full home cooked breakfast, towel warmers, towels, bath products, laundry service, lush gardens on an urban farm, with fresh herbs and fruit, Free and fast wifi. off street parking, recommendations for local restaurants and attractions, a team of 5 people who run this space and are here to attend to our guests. We offer reiki, photography, tutoring, English lessons, event space rental, yoga classes, zen meditation, and a parents’ group. These are just some of the amenities we offer. In fact we meet all the requirements for an Airbnb Plus listing except that our bathrooms are shared. We do wish you had let us know if there was something you needed or expected that we didn’t provide. We may have been able to get that for you. We do ask our guests to let us know if there is something they would like that would make their stay more enjoyable.

 DragonflyHill Urban Farm’s 2 Room Lavender Suite


Brittany
Brittany

 The Lotus Retreat on our Urban Farm: Walk to DTLA


Spencer
Spencer

 DragonflyHill Urban Farm: Frida Room: Walk to DTLA


Simoo
Simoo

 The Lotus Retreat on our Urban Farm: Walk to DTLA


Aaron
Aaron

 DragonflyHill Urban Farm: Frida Room: Walk to DTLA


Vanessa
Vanessa

 Rose Sage Room at DragonflyHill Urban Farm


Anders
Anders

 DragonflyHill Urban Farm’s 2 Room Lavender Suite


Abdulrahman
Abdulrahman

 DragonflyHill Urban Farm: Frida Room: Walk to DTLA


Camille
Camille

 The Lotus Retreat on our Urban Farm: Walk to DTLA


Courtney
Courtney

 DragonflyHill Urban Farm: Frida Room: Walk to DTLA


Kazuyoshi
Kazuyoshi

 DragonflyHill Urban Farm’s 2 Room Lotus Suite


Ashley
Ashley

 The Lotus Retreat on our Urban Farm: Walk to DTLA


Kaluyatatsyes
Kaluyatatsyes

 DragonflyHill Urban Farm: Frida Room: Walk to DTLA


Kaluyatatsyes
Kaluyatatsyes
DragonflyHill

Response from DragonflyHill:It’s always wonderful having you here. Everyone gets so excited when we know you are coming. Thanks for the extra details in your review about what it’s like to stay here with a small child. We work very hard to create a space that is both elegant and childproof and we hope all the antiquities provide a bit of magic for young guests. Looking forward to your next visit here.

 The Lavender Room at DragonflyHill Urban Farm


可可
可可

 The Lotus Retreat on our Urban Farm: Walk to DTLA


Yuchang
Yuchang

 DragonflyHill Urban Farm: Frida Room: Walk to DTLA


Kevin
Kevin

 DragonflyHill Urban Farm’s 2 Room Lavender Suite


Hong
Hong

 DragonflyHill Urban Farm: Frida Room: Walk to DTLA


Krysta
Krysta

 The Lavender Room at DragonflyHill Urban Farm


Laura Et Antoine
Laura Et Antoine
DragonflyHill

Response from DragonflyHill:We’re so sorry your stay was not a pleasant one. We had no idea you were not comfortable, as you did not mention any of this while you were here, in fact we assumed that everything was going well based on all of our interactions with you. We do provide each room with a soft sound machine and ear plugs, but would have been more than willing to have asked people to be more mindful of their activities. In the future we would recommend that you let your hosts know if there are any problems in advance of writing a review, especially if your concerns are not reflected in the reviews left by other guests. Good hosts will work very hard to resolve any issue you might have and it is very distressing to find out long after any solution could be found or offered.

 Rose Sage Room at DragonflyHill Urban Farm


Florence
Florence

 DragonflyHill Urban Farm: Frida Room: Walk to DTLA


Yueping
Yueping
DragonflyHill

Response from DragonflyHill:我们使用谷歌翻译来了解您的评论,并写下这一个。我们希望我们不会被误解。 我们希望您在逗留期间让我们知道您不舒服。我们会非常努力地解决您的担忧。我们认为我们在清单描述中清楚地描述了与下一个房间的距离。两间房间之间有两扇锁门。我们有其他房间可能会提供更多的隔离。我们确实为客人提供了柔软的音响设备和耳塞。 我们建议您更仔细地阅读列表以确保您的需求得到满足,并且在您的住宿期间与您的主持人讨论任何问题,然后再在评论中列出这些问题,以便您的主持人可以与您一起工作,以确保您的舒适。

 Rose Sage Room at DragonflyHill Urban Farm


Chao
Chao

 The Lotus Retreat on our Urban Farm: Walk to DTLA


Tere
Tere

 The Lavender Room at DragonflyHill Urban Farm


Michelle
Michelle

 DragonflyHill Urban Farm’s 2 Room Lavender Suite


Nicole
Nicole

 The Lotus Retreat on our Urban Farm: Walk to DTLA


織田
織田
DragonflyHill

Response from DragonflyHill:Thank you for your kind review. We are very glad you enjoyed your stay and you found the room spacious. Some guests might find the room to be cozy and while not a small room, it’s not especially large.

 DragonflyHill Urban Farm: Frida Room: Walk to DTLA


Elizabeth
Elizabeth

 Rose Sage Room at DragonflyHill Urban Farm


Lydia
Lydia

 DragonflyHill Urban Farm: Frida Room: Walk to DTLA

Don’t Pick or Sell Wild White Sage

Unless it is part of your indigenous Native American practice, don’t pick and don’t buy white sage. That is an abomination of traditional spiritual and healing uses of white sage. If you want some white sage we grow it and we’ll give it to you for free.

Requesting Your Help! We’re Requesting Your Help In Stopping The Sale And Purchase Of White Sage Bundles Which Are Being Sold In “New Age” Stores, Online, Commercialized Pow Wows, Etc. They Are Referred To As “Shaman Bundles, Fairy Wands, Or Smudge Sticks.” The Hacking Rather Than Responsible And Sustainable Harvesting Taking Place In Our Wild White Sage Communities Is Horrific And Getting Worse Every Year! White Sage Is A Medicinal Plant Tended To And Utilized By Chumash Peoples For Thousands Of Years. These Medicinal Plant Communities Are Being Ripped And Hacked Away By Folks Who Are Only Concerned About Making A Quick Dollar. There Are Long Established Traditional Protocols To Tending These Wild Plant Communities And Harvesting That Are Adhered To Through Indigenous Knowledge Practices, Awareness Of The Seasons, And Respect For Sustainable Harvesting. Chumash Peoples Do Not Sell White Sage Bundles. We Use Them For Ceremony And Other Medicinal Uses. If You Want To Harvest White Sage, We Encourage You To Go To Your Local Native Plant Nursery And Purchase A Few Plants, Grow Them In Your Garden At Home, Tend To Them While Establishing A Relationship, And Harvest From Them Responsibly So Your Plants Will Be Healthy And Continue To Grow. Thank You For Helping Us Save Our Wild White Sage Communities!! – Luhui Isha
Text: Requesting Your Help!
We’re Requesting Your Help In Stopping The Sale And Purchase Of White Sage Bundles Which Are Being Sold In “New Age” Stores, Online, Commercialized Pow Wows, Etc. They Are Referred To As “Shaman Bundles, Fairy Wands, Or Smudge Sticks.” The Hacking Rather Than Responsible And Sustainable Harvesting Taking Place In Our Wild White Sage Communities Is Horrific And Getting Worse Every Year! White Sage Is A Medicinal Plant Tended To And Utilized By Chumash Peoples For Thousands Of Years. These Medicinal Plant Communities Are Being Ripped And Hacked Away By Folks Who Are Only Concerned About Making A Quick Dollar. There Are Long Established Traditional Protocols To Tending These Wild Plant Communities And Harvesting That Are Adhered To Through Indigenous Knowledge Practices, Awareness Of The Seasons, And Respect For Sustainable Harvesting. Chumash Peoples Do Not Sell White Sage Bundles. We Use Them For Ceremony And Other Medicinal Uses. If You Want To Harvest White Sage, We Encourage You To Go To Your Local Native Plant Nursery And Purchase A Few Plants, Grow Them In Your Garden At Home, Tend To Them While Establishing A Relationship, And Harvest From Them Responsibly So Your Plants Will Be Healthy And Continue To Grow. Thank You For Helping Us Save Our Wild White Sage Communities!! – Luhui Isha

-Wishtoyo Chumash Foundation
http://www.wishtoyo.org/events/2015/12/17/community-winter-solstice-celebration

Allergy Clean & Airbnb’s Service & Support Animal Policy

Airbnb’s Policies on Assistance Animals

Airbnb recently came out with DISability access policies that exceed the ADA (Americans with DISabilities Act) requisites. We shouldn’t need to remind our readers that Airbnb is within its rights to exceed those policies. We also exceed many ADA requirements. ADA requirements are minimal not optimal requisites and good people everywhere should be fighting to expand rights and include more people, not make excuses for why some people are expendable.

We support the new Airbnb policy and we’re a bit put off and as DISfolx (albeit ones that don’t use assitance animals) hurt by the response and entitlement of some hosts who balk at this policy. Many cite “fake” assistance animals and “fake” DISabilities. We are more concerned for DISfolx who are harassed, denied access and endangered by suspicion due to 1. the excuses of those who don’t want to accommodate DISfolx and 2. ENabled people who fake DISability– and it IS ENabled people who fake it,not DISfolx but it is DISfolx who suffer the attitudes, suspicion and discrimination that the so called fake DISableds cause. Also, Airbnb is an international service and the ADA is a law in the U.S. so it stands to reason that a corporate policy may be different than the U.S. policy.  Shock that international standards of human rights might exceed U.S. standards is really outrageous.

AIRBNB POLICY:
What is an assistance animal?
https://www.airbnb.com/help/article/1869/what-is-an-assistance-animal

Airbnb’s Nondiscrimination Policy: Our Commitment to Inclusion and Respect
https://www.airbnb.com/help/article/1405/airbnb-s-nondiscrimination-policy–our-commitment-to-inclusion-and-respect

So What Is A Socially Conscious, Ethical,  Host to Do?

Host list two concerns regarding assistance animals. 1. Damage and destruction. 2. Allergies.

If the animal is causing damage or disruption you CAN exclude them. Contact Airbnb for assistance but be clear about the problem with the animal. (+1-415-800-5959 or toll free:+1-855-424-7262 You can reach someone 24/7). Please don’t question if the person is “really DISabled” (and never ask for certification– there is no legal document that certifies assistance animals and asking for such a document is a violation of someone’s rights).

Regarding allergies: If the only time you raise the issue of allergies or are concerned about allergies, is in the context of assistance animals, your home is probably not allergen free to begin with. We have a cat and because our home is designed to be low in allergens we are able to have guests with cat allergies with little or no reaction. If we know ahead of time, we’ll do an especially deep cleaning and keep the cat out of the common areas in the days ahead of the guest’s arrival. But even guests who’ve shown up and didn’t realize we have a cat (it’s in the listing description), have reported to us that they’ve had no problems.

If your home cannot remove pet dander between check out and check in, it can’t remove pollen, dust, dust mites and other allergens either. If you really care about  your guests with allergens (another DISability worthy of accommodation) and aren’t just throwing around an excuse to support a hostility toward assistance animals,  then you have to start with making it easy is to clean your home in the first place.

Some allergen limiting features

  • no carpets that can’t be washed easily and at least weekly. (And we’re not talking about carpet cleaners.) Carpets are prime habitat for many unwanted organisms. They’re really disgusting
  • no heavy curtains
  • books and papers should be out of the way.
  • glass doors on bookcases make a big difference
  • use a vacuum cleaner with a hepa filter. (just running the vacuum cleaner without even actually vacuuming will remove a lot of allergens and deep clean the air in your home. It’s also good for removing odors.)
  • Run your air conditioner (and replace or clean the filter often. We clean ours, weekly)
  • Don’t use scented products!!!! We provide a list of products we use and can cut back on their use if a guest is allergic to any of them. We provide bath products that are fragrance free and ask guests to limit fragrances when they are here.
  • Don’t let magazines, newspapers or paper bags pile up.
  • Use a upholstery or pet hair nozzle on your vacuum cleaner and vacuum mattresses between changes, vacuum sofas and other upholstered furniture.
  • Steam pillows and blankets for 50 minutes in your dryer. This will kill any insects like dust mites which cause serious allergic reactions.
  • Encase mattresses and pillows.
  • Use a damp mop and rags for cleaning. We recommend microfiber mops and rags. (More on this in a future post.)
  • Use cleaning products that are unscented and nontoxic.
  • Don’t allow smoking (of any substance) inside. Limit smoking to outside areas.

For more information on how we do it:

We’re Not Just Clean, We’re Allergy Clean

https://dragonflyhill.wordpress.com/2016/12/19/were-not-just-clean-were-allergy-clean/

Products We Use
https://dragonflyhill.wordpress.com/products-we-use/

Coming soon:

  • Products we love: House cleaning safety
  • Products we love: House cleaning
  • Products we love: Laundry day

Dear City Council: Do You Want To Be Known As

Dear Mayor Eric Garcetti and City Council members:

Have you read the entire proposed ordinance and subsequent reports? Do you want to be known as the Council that passed a home-sharing ordinance that will have the following consequences?

Hundreds, maybe thousands, of elderly, retired, disabled, single parents, and workers losing their AFFORDABLE homes and thrown into the already overcrowded rental housing market?

Hundreds, maybe thousands, of working people (generally paid at above $15/hour) in the cleaning and maintenance field losing their jobs?

Millions of dollars in TOT revenues lost to the city?

Millions of tourist dollars lost to small and developing businesses in often-neglected small neighborhoods?

If not, here are just a few suggestions on how to change (or entirely re-write) the ordinance—and make Los Angeles a model city that does all it says it want to—Stimulate economic development, maintain affordable housing, allowing aging in place, and maintain neighborhood character!

1. First of all, grandfather in current hosts of home sharing rentals in their primary homes and adjacent on-site buildings. Utilize existing infrastructure and models for licensing and fees.

You have heard from hosts that say hosting has allowed them to keep their homes and provide a stable environment for their families. Hundreds of those already hosting will lose their homes and force them into the rental market. Streamlined Grandfathering will assure that many workers in this small cottage industry will not lose their jobs and be able to provide for their families.

2. No caps on the number of days of rentals or number of listings in one home.

The original Planning Department report stated that the effect of home-sharing on the housing market has been negligible. Recent statistics have shown that owner-occupied short-term rentals of over 180 days number around 6000. These are the hosts who also provide thousands of well-paying livable wage jobs to Angelinos.

3. No ban on RSO primary home or host-based listings of short-term rentals.

Banning home sharing in RSO units does not preserve affordable housing but instead targets the most vulnerable in our city. It is a discriminatory policy that invites legal action. Many of those currently hosting in RSO units have their landlord’s approval, and they and others are only able to keep their affordable homes due to hosting of a room in their primary dwelling. Many workers in the film industry get work outside of LA, and hosting allows them to keep their home (whether as owners or renters of RSO units) while out of town.

4. No ban on other home-based businesses in homes with short-term rentals.

.This extremely vague provision of the ordinance has not been addressed by either the PLUM or the Housing Committee. No other business in the city is thus restricted. Those that run home-based businesses, whether screenwriters, graphic designers, seamstresses, tax-preparers or therapists (to name a few), make ideal hosts because they are at home to monitor guests and their activities, minimizing the impact on the neighborhood.

These are only a few suggestions. I have included below a point-by-point analysis of the original ordinance that was submitted to the PLUM Committee. Please make certain you have read the entire ordinance, and this point-by-point critique to address other concerns.

Finally, do not be the City Council that bows to the whims and the outright stealth advertising campaign of an out-of-control hotel industry that wants to create more and more hotel rooms (displacing entire affordable housing communities) and make more money than ever, only to send it out of the community to its international shareholders. If anything, let’s ask the developers who are asking to build new hotels and luxury housing to provide at least one floor of affordable housing and another floor of transitional (or permanent) housing and support services for those without homes!

Feel free to contact me for other ideas.

Andy Griggs,

Echo Park homeowner, home-sharer, business owner, union member, human rights and community activist
310-704-3217

Finding the Win Win in the Home Sharing Ordinance

By Emma Rosenthal

If the current proposed home sharing ordinance in L.A. goes through, THOUSANDS of people will lose their jobs and just as many may lose their homes. What is needed is a whole new ordinance that focuses on housing rights in whole house listings that preserves home sharing in primary residences. There are some simple win/win solutions even if the L.A. City Council decides to pass this draconian proposal in order to at least preserve the housing stability and jobs current home sharing empowers.

Home sharing is a social movement that came out of the housing and jobs crisis of the last ten years where more and more people were finding themselves outside of the mainstream workforce and displaced from their housing either via foreclosures, evictions or rising rents and decreasing income streams and job opportunities.  Home sharing provided many people with the means to keep their homes and provide income for their households. Home sharing is quite literally a cottage industry made up mostly of home based hosts renting out rooms in their homes, sometimes the sofa in the living room, to people who are traveling or in search of transitional housing. In Los Angeles, home sharing is the only alternative between the 12 month lease and the $300 hotel room, providing affordable temporary housing not only to tourists, but also to people on temporary work or business travel, conventioneers, students, temporarily displaced locals, visiting family members of current city residents. Many of these guests report that they would not be able to afford a decent hotel room in this city.

It is unknown how vast and devastating the impact of this ordinance would be on the local economy because this industry has developed without the assistance, planning or direction of the city government. This cottage industry provides employment and housing to not only hosts, but to the thousands of small businesses and their employees as well as contractors and subcontractors and local businesses that rely on home sharing and serve home sharing hosts including local restaurants and shops, house cleaners, house cleaning businesses, street vendors, gardeners, landscapers, exterminators, delivery services, repair people, handy workers, etc. Meanwhile, this city has done more for the hotel industry and developers than it has in response to the crisis of foreclosure, eviction and loss of jobs.

In the last few months the Planning Department has produced three reports on home sharing. The first report demonstrated:

 

  • that the number of units that are currently available as short term housing amounts to less than 1% of the available housing stock and has no measurable impact on housing availability and affordable rental stock.
  • That the number of nuisance complaints are minimal, and that of the 419 complaints opened from March 2015-September of 2017,  regarding short term rentals in apartments, only 133 cases have been closed and a 286 remain open with only 12 cases referred to the City Attorney’s office.
  • In single family homes in a  4 year period there were less than 200 STR-related complaints city wide.
  • That host occupied listings have few if any complaints and that the problems that do exist, are for the most part, in whole unit listings.
  • That any registration process should be as simple, affordable and accessible as possible for hosts to register their listings with the city so as to allow for the greatest of compliance among short term rental hosts.
  • To coordinate and use existing offices HCIDLA, LADBS, Office of Finance and the City Attorney’s office in the registration and enforcement process.

That is to say that the two main concerns related to home sharing:

  • impact on housing stock and rents, and
  • nuisances in the community,

are for the most part unfounded. They are the imagination of the hotel industry lobby, which has by far a much more significant impact on housing availability and rising housing costs, and those Angelenos who don’t want to share their city; often the same wealthy landowners that have lobbied to keep the public off of public beaches, public hiking trails and public street, and the few NGOs who are tightly aligned with these interests, including NGOs who receive hundreds of thousands of dollars to inspect rental units. There is only one union on record,  opposing home sharing: the company union of the hotel industry, while many of the hosts represent retired union and nonunion workers, often retired teachers who served generations of L.A. children, and film industry workers who need to be able to rent their homes out short term, while they are away on location.

Nonetheless, the subsequent reports from the same office, developed more stringent recommendations including:

  • Expensive and complicated registration processes that would make home sharing tougher for low income hosts in less luxurious listings.
  • Strict enforcement criteria that doesn’t exist for any other business model in the city including the thousands of home based businesses that are not involved in home sharing.
  • A snitch program where neighbors are encouraged to report and even give approval for the establishment and continued licensing of home sharing businesses, a process not applied to any other business model (with the exception of the yet unpassed recent proposals for street vendors, making the “snitch” clause a cause for concern that could leave low income, small businesses subject to extortion and abuse.)
  • A cap on the number of days hosts could operate their listing and “break even” algorithms to discourage home sharing and encourage renting out space long term (Algorithms that don’t take into account labor and expenses or apply to less expensive, less luxurious listings). Such caps and “break even” limitations are not part of any other existing business model. (Additionally, coercing people into long term cohabitation arrangements is cruel and dangerous especially since so many hosts are elders, women, low income families with small children, DISabled people and people with chronic health conditions, all groups that are targets for domestic abuse.)
  • Huge fines and penalties that are not applied to any existing business model or license in the city.

Once this current proposal is passed, once that bell is rung, it cannot be unrung. Destroyed lives, displaced residents, lost jobs and housing will not be recuperated months or years later when the city reconsiders its choices, once the damage becomes apparent. According to the city’s own report, the current impact of home sharing on housing stock and neighborhoods is minimal.  The city already has a procedure for providing business licenses through the finance office. There are many legal home based business that already exist and operate in the city in residential areas. There is no reason for the city to develop new top heavy, expensive administrations and expensive licensing when the structures already exist to allow for new businesses.

Instead the city should either develop an entire new proposal that recognizes the value of home sharing and puts no more limitations on home sharing than it puts on any other home based and small businesses, or at the very least amend the current proposal to assure that existing jobs, businesses and housing that depend on home sharing are not lost.

  • By grandfathering in all existing home sharing hosts through a simple mechanism that is affordable and accessible and is consistent with existing business licensing procedures. This would prevent any harm to existing businesses while the city enacts, administers and tests the new ordinance.
  • Fund existing departments and mandate them to provide services to the residents of the city, especially in the area of tenants’ rights enforcement. The number of existing complaints, though small, that have remained unresolved is inexcusable.
    • Enforce tenants rights and respond to the existing complaints that have gone unresolved for years.
    • Use the Finance Department that already issues business licenses to issue the licenses for Home Sharing.
    • Use HCIDLA and the City Attorney’s office to enforce tenants’ rights.
    • Provide city wide tenants’ rights education and empowerment.
  • Use the millions of dollars in taxes collected from home sharing to provide vital services to the city.
  • Work with hosts to provide emergency and transitional housing to homeless neighbors.
  • Allow home sharing in all primary residences including the RSO units with caps only applied to whole unit listings, including in residences where there are other home based income streams. (a clause  in the initial ordinance that it is so broad, it would disallow any other home based work or promotion even prohibiting sharing of restaurant recommendations or business travel in short term rentals.)
  • Create various affordable housing options and job creation within the city.

There have been a few larger operatives who have turned  long term lodging into short term rentals and who may have abused Ellis act evictions and other means of displacing long term tenants.  Establishing huge obstacles to home based hosts as a means of addressing abusive landlords has all the shortcoming of broken (window) policing and will have devastating impact on the thousands of small businesses and their employees as well as contractors and subcontractors and local businesses that rely on home sharing and serve home sharing hosts.  The scope of a crackdown on home based hosts could be far reaching, especially if limits are put on the number of listings per host (many hosts rent out more than one room) or the number of days home based hosts may operate. It will be impossible for example, to maintain full time and ongoing employment if forced to operate a minimum number of days or offer only one listing.  

The revenue from taxes to home sharing could serve the needs of the larger community, and while short term rental taxes are higher than any taxes applied to any small businesses in this city, many hosts are eager to contribute to the city if those taxes can provide vital services to our neighbors.

Despite the stereotype of the home sharing host, most hosts are struggling to get by. Each host is an autonomous small business. Cities who did little to address issues of displacement, supported hyper development that often contributed to displacement and did little to provide long term  jobs, should at the very least, not put huge impositions on small businesses who function on such a narrow margin that any expense or imposition would put many hosts out of business.

Home sharing provides stability, jobs and economic and social dynamic to our city. Hosts who are home based provide increased security in our neighborhoods because they are home during the day when other neighbors are away.  Home sharing gives character to neighborhoods and most residents support or are indifferent to home sharing in their communities. It is labor intensive, honorable work and a lifestyle choice that has created thousands of jobs, relationships and homes in L.A and around the world

____________
Links: 

October 19, 2017 http://clkrep.lacity.org/onlinedocs/2014/14-1635-S2_rpt_PLAN_10-20-2017.pdf
REPORT BACK RELATIVE TO PROPOSED HOME-SHARING ORDINANCE (COUNCIL FILES 14-1635-S2, 14-1635-S3)

January 11 2018 Report: http://clkrep.lacity.org/onlinedocs/2014/14-1635-S2_rpt_PLAN_01-12-2018.pdf
SECOND SUPPLEMENTAL REPORT BACK RELATIVE TO PROPOSED HOME-SHARING ORDINANCE (COUNCIL FILES 14-1635-S2, 14-1635-S3) On October 24, 2017 PLUM Committee CFs 14-1635-S2, 14-1635-S3 Report by the Department of City Planning to the PLUM Committee

February 8, 2018 REQUEST FOR REPORT BACK http://clkrep.lacity.org/onlinedocs/2014/14-1635-S2_misc_02-08-2018.pdf
THIRD SUPPLEMENTAL REPORT BACK RELATIVE TO PROPOSED HOME-SHARING ORDINANCE (COUNCIL FILES 14-1635-S2, 14-1635-S3)
http://clkrep.lacity.org/onlinedocs/2014/14-1635-S2_rpt_PLAN_03-22-2018.pdf


Don’t Blame Airbnb for Rising Rents
https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2018-04-17/airbnb-plays-a-minuscule-role-in-rising-city-rents

The Sharing Economy and Housing Affordability: Evidence from Airbnb∗
https://poseidon01.ssrn.com/delivery.php?ID=232099087122074124126018064006116066097017010085053050121006115066072068099115102025006004049123024013001004079071123068006092058006064047010091116014125115023076113034038031104094085017000076068099079115011103127099102013095100096105066030026127094020&EXT=pdf

Report: Airbnb restrictions could cost LA thousands of jobs and millions in revenue
https://www.pasadenastarnews.com/2017/11/06/report-airbnb-restrictions-could-cost-la-thousands-of-jobs-and-millions-in-revenue/

LA Airbnb community generated $40 million in taxes last year
https://www.airbnbcitizen.com/la-airbnb-community-generated-40-million-in-taxes-last-year/

Airbnb’s economic impact in Los Angeles in 2017
https://www.airbnbcitizen.com/airbnbs-economic-impact-in-los-angeles-in-2017/

Broken Policing Policies & Home Sharing
https://dragonflyhill.wordpress.com/2018/04/29/broken-policing-policies-home-sharing/

Point by Point: Community Analysis of Home Sharing Ordinance
https://dragonflyhill.wordpress.com/2017/06/12/point-by-point-community-analysis-of-home-sharing-ordinance/

Update 4/10/18: Latest Round In the Fight For Home Sharing
https://dragonflyhill.wordpress.com/2018/04/08/latest-round-in-the-fight-for-home-sharing/

Update 4/9/18 Latest Response To the Planning Committee’s Report on Home Sharing
https://dragonflyhill.wordpress.com/2018/04/15/latest-response-to-the-planning-committees-reports-on-home-sharing/

STORIFIED:HOW THE HOTEL INDUSTRY GOT YOU TO HATE YOUR NEIGHBOR AND LOVE THE MULTINATIONAL CORPORATION
https://dragonflyhill.wordpress.com/2016/11/28/storifiedhow-the-hotel-industry-got-you-to-hate-your-neighbor-and-love-the-multinational-corporation/