Welcome!

Keep Neighborhoods First is a grass roots coalition of neighbors, tenants, and affordable housing advocates, working men and women, and business and hotel owners who have come together to solve the problems created by the proliferation of commercial short term rentals in our neighborhoods.

We are concerned about:

  • The rapid loss of affordable housing
  • Safety and stability of our neighborhoods
  • The diminishing quality of life for Angelenos
  • Homes and apartments turning into hotels
  • Entire neighborhoods becoming tourist zones

KNF has successfully brought together thousands of stakeholders all over Los Angeles and throughout California to create a united voice to protect our communities from the impacts of short-term rentals. Together we have already helped shape the legislative process at City Hall, forcing a real conversation.  We have mobilized speakers, held rallies, marches against bad operators and demanded action. KNF is proud of the role we are playing in developing the regulations at City Hall to ensure real protection in our neighborhoods

However, we know that Airbnb and other short-term rental platforms are prepared to spend millions of dollars to protect their profits in Los Angeles. By growing Keep Neighborhoods First, and continuing to advocate for our communities, we can help influence effective and enforceable regulations that protect our neighborhoods from the negative impacts of illegal short-term rentals.

We do not oppose legitimate home sharing. Rather, we aim to bring together the concerned, ignored, evicted, and deceived community members who are ready to stop commercialized short-term rental abuse. We offer useful information, develop awareness campaigns about short-term rentals, and highlight opportunities to take action. 


 

Our Supporters and Coalition Partners

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  • Latest from the blog

    September Updates

    On September 8, we joined our affordable housing partners at City Hall. We reminded them of the impact short-term rentals are having on residents and neighborhoods while they drag their feet on enforceable regulation. We had dozens of supporters on hand and we shared many stories of lost housing and lost neighborhoods. Supporters were wearing shirts with the number 4001 (and counting) printed on them—symbolizing the number of housing units lost to short-term rentals all over City. We told the Council that every day they wait to take action, 4 additional units are removed from the market—making the current crisis increasingly worse. Click below to listen to KNX 1070 coverage of our action at City Hall Next Hearing We suspect that the next hearing of the City Council’s Planning and Land Use Management (PLUM) Committee will be in October. As usual, we will be organizing our supporters to be a loud voice for the Council to consider. Airbnb's Influence on Local Politics Airbnb has been able to get away with profiting from unenforced regulations. A new documentary exposes how the tech giant has influenced politics in San Francisco in its favor. What's happening in San Francisco is not unique - we see the same influence in Los Angeles and around the world. We think this documentary is a great cautionary tale.  Updates From Near and Far The Los Angeles City Attorney is finally cracking down  on a few party houses in the Hollywood Hills. It’s too little too late, but we hope these neighbors see some relief and that this actions sends a message to other party house operators that their actions are illegal.  Our neighbors in West Hollywood, where short-term rentals are not permitted, continue to be inundated with illegal rentals, and 60% are in rent stabilized housing. We need to use this as an example in Los Angeles of what to be leery of, as we get closer to creating regulations here.  Monterey continues to crack down on short-term rentals by issuing hefty fines on violators. Residential property owners in any of Monterey's residential zoning districts that violate the prohibition of short-term rentals not only receive a $1,000 penalty, in the event that such owners don't comply by immediately removing any advertisement for such rentals, continued violations will be cited at $100 to $200 per day.  The horror stories of unsafe Airbnb homes continue with this story from New Zealand. Six people were hospitalized after they escaped a fierce house fire in the Christchurch suburb of Sumner. The wooden, three-story house on Clifton Terrace went up in flames.  And finally, this recent story is simply unimaginable. Loftium is a new business related to short-term rentals. It will provide prospective homebuyers with up to $50,000 for a down payment, as long as they are willing to continuously list an extra bedroom on Airbnb for one to three years and share most of the income with Loftium over that time. Developments like this only enhance the need for the City of Los Angeles to enact regulations NOW, before it’s too late.    
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    Important Updates on Home-Sharing in Los Angeles

    What is happening in Los Angeles? A few weeks ago, the City Council’s Planning and Land Use Management Committee finally heard the draft short-term rental ordinance. There was a big turnout from both our supporters and the opposition. Our supporters had great counter statements to the stories presented by hosts that were coached by Airbnb. The Committee heard testimony from hundreds of attendees and had a relatively short discussion about the proposed ordinance. The following issues concern us: Questioned the need for any cap - based on real data (see below), we prefer a 60 day cap on total amount of days a host is permitted to rent short-term as that incentivizes permanent housing Reintroduced allowing short-term rentals in rent-controlled units - this is a real threat to affordable housing Considering vacation rentals, which are currently prohibited in the ordinance - as we have experienced repeatedly, these rentals will seriously disrupt neighborhoods while removing much needed housing stock These proposed changes would weaken the current ordinance significantly and threaten the peaceful enjoyment of our neighborhoods and availability of affordable housing. The Planning Committee continued the short-term rental item without action. It should be heard again in early August. Please stand by for additional “calls to action” as we get closer to another hearing. By the Numbers 83 - average number of nights that an affordable Los Angeles apartment becomes more profitable as a short-term rental than permanent housing; Unnecessarily increasing the cap beyond this number will economically motivate landlords to turn more affordable apartments into short-term rentals. 60 - average number of nights a year that Airbnb’s own study entitled “The Impact of Home Sharing in Los Angeles,” found that hosts share their home. A 60-90-day cap will easily accommodate those that engage in true home sharing and push commercial operators out of the market 31,253 - Airbnb listings in Los Angeles as of July 6, 2017 - 57.6% are entire homes, 37.2% are private rooms and 5.2% are shared rooms KNF continues to work for an ordinance with a reasonable cap, a prohibition on rent-controlled units and a primary residence requirement. Last week, KNF, along with our Affordable Housing Advocate Coalition partners, testified at the City Council's Housing Committee meeting - to make sure the decision-makers in City Hall, beyond just the Planning Committee, are hearing about the harmful impacts of illegal short-term rentals. The Housing Committee also heard from tenants who live in residentially zoned, rent-stabilized apartment buildings that are in the process of being converted to de facto hotels, including "The Ellison," a 57-unit RSO building in Venice. They expressed concerns and frustrations about unwarranted evictions, landlord harassment, neglect of health and safety problems,  and about the City's lack of enforcement - as they watch neighbors being displaced and their communities  replaced with a revolving door of strangers. Venice Takes a Step in the Wrong Direction As the City Council continues to grapple with regulatory policy and LA City Attorney Mike Feuer is suing property owners accused of illegally converting long-term rent stabilized housing into transient use, short-term rentals, however, continue to be attractive to landlords looking for a way around rent stabilization. Throughout Los Angeles we continue to see affordable units being take off the market at lightening speed. In Venice, we have seen property owners attempt to turn entire long-term buildings with rent-stabilized units into de facto hotels.  Just as Carl Lambert, owner of Venice Suites, a 32-unit rent stabilized apartment building, is facing an upcoming Civil Court trial for this, the Venice Neighborhood Council, many of whom Lambert supported in their bids for office, unfortunately voted, on June 29, 2017, to reward Lambert for his unlawful activity by supporting his request to “officially” continue operating as a de facto hotel.   Fortunately, the VNC is advisory only and this request still has many hurdles as it passes through scrutiny by the City Planning Department and Coastal Commission. While the law is on the side of protecting housing, we were glad to have 400-plus stakeholders from all over Los Angeles who formally expressed their opposition and will be watching closely to make sure justice prevails. Learning from Other Cities We have always encouraged the City of LA to look to other cities for advice on how to best regulate short-term rentals. Many other municipalities have been adopting and then later tweaking their ordinances to be effective, preserve affordable housing and protect neighborhoods.   This week, the Los Angeles Daily News posted an opinion piece written by Dale Carlson, co-founder of Share Better San Francisco, a Keep Neighborhoods First ally. The article gives warning and lessons from San Francisco's home sharing ordinance. Stay tuned as we continue our fight to protect housing and neighborhoods in Los Angeles!
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