60 day cap is vital to preserving our neighborhoods

After a summer of waiting, the short-term rental regulations will move forward to the City Council. The regulations will go to the Housing Committee, the Planning Committee and finally to the full City Council.

While we are pleased with where the draft ordinance is overall, we continue to be concerned about the cap issue. As it is currently proposed, hosts can rent out their short-term rental properties for 180 days a year.

What does a large cap mean for our neighborhoods and housing market?

The data shows that affordable housing will be lost if short-term rentals are permitted for as few as 60-days per year in some Los Angeles neighborhoods. In fact, across all of Los Angeles neighborhoods it takes an average of just 83 nights per year to earn more on Airbnb than can be earned in a whole year of renting to a long-term renter.

We have seen the effect of a large cap in other cities. After two years of trying to work through problems with their STR legislation, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors is working toward imposing a hard 60-day cap. They are revising the previous ordinance of 90-days because it was unenforceable. They have now determined that 60-days strikes the right balance between helping people earn significant supplemental income while not encouraging landlords to keep the units off the rental market. Airbnb's own study “The Impact of Home Sharing in Los Angeles,” found that hosts in Los Angeles share their home less than 60 nights a year on average, therefore the City does not need to allow more days. 60 days will easily accommodate true-home sharing hosts.

We need our supporters to tell the City that it is clear that landlords will be economically motivated to turn affordable apartments and homes into short-term rentals if the cap is too high. We want to tell the stories of how your neighborhoods have been impacted by a proliferation of short-term rentals. It’s vital that the city adopt short-term rental ordinances that are both enforceable and truly protect affordable housing - and that included a low, 60 day cap.


End of Summer Update

As the summer officially comes to an end, we hope everyone was able to enjoy and relax a bit.  Keep Neighborhoods First continues to work to influence the regulatory process in the City of LA. KNF has been working hand-in-hand with our allies to make sure that our voice is heard.  

Surprise Agreement with the Mayor

We were very surprised over the summer to learn that Mayor Garcetti had entered into a tax agreement with Airbnb. This agreement threatened the entire regulation process.  In response, we came together to send him a clear message

homesnothotels.jpg
Image Courtesy of CBS Los Angeles

Let’s Talk About Caps

Murray Cox of Inside Airbnb and researchers at the Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy analyzed the data related to the correct cap for regulating short-term rentals.  To explain why a cap matters, they illustrate the impacts of a high cap. In fact, the research found that affordable housing will be lost if short-term rentals are permitted for as few as 60-days per year in some Los Angeles neighborhoods. And across all Los Angeles neighborhoods it takes an average of just 83 nights per year to earn more on Airbnb than can be earned in a whole year of renting to a long-term renter.

This chart looks at some highly impacted areas:

Zip Code

Neighborhood

Number of Nights Needed to Earn More on Airbnb than Renting Long Term

Council District

90291

Venice

83

11

90028

Hollywood/Thai Town

86

13

90026

Silver Lake/Echo Park

79

13

90027

Griffith Park/Los Feliz

79

4 & 13

90029

Downtown Los Angeles

88

14

90063

Boyle Hts/City Terrace

84

14

90004

Koreatown

78

10 & 4

91602

North Hollywood/ Toluca Lake

68

2

90048

Beverly Grove

76

5

90731

San Pedro

91

15

91405

Van Nuys

80

6

90065

Cypress Park

86

1

91364

Woodland Hills

75

3

90008

Baldwin Hills/Crenshaw

84

10

90018

Jefferson Park

87

8

90011

South Los Angeles

79

9

Lawsuits, Lawsuits and More Lawsuits

Airbnb has sued yet another city for imposing reasonable regulations. This time it is the City of Santa Monica. 

These lawsuits are a ploy to intimidate cities, evade accountability and continue a business model dependent on facilitating commercial operators who remove entire homes and displace long-term renters. If Airbnb continues to file lawsuits instead of following reasonable regulations that protect affordable housing, perhaps the effort to regulate should shift toward banning short term rentals entirely. 

Home Sharing Ordinance

We expect the home-sharing ordinance to be back in front of the City Council’s Planning and Land Use Management Committee in the coming weeks so keep an eye out for updates and calls to action.  

We are really proud of the role we have been able to play in shaping Los Angeles’ regulations and continue to count on you—our supporters—to protect our neighborhoods and housing stock.

 


What's in a cap?

Many of our supporters have been trying to understand why the argument over a cap in the number of nights that someone can offer their home short-term is such an important item.

This week, Inside Airbnb’s Murray Cox released data showing that affordable housing will be lost if short-term rentals are permitted for as few as 60-days per year in some Los Angeles neighborhoods. Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy (LAANE), analyzed the data and found that across all Los Angeles neighborhoods it takes an average of just 83 nights per year to earn more on Airbnb than can be earned in a whole year of renting to a long-term renter.

“Most people following the debate around regulating this industry don’t understand the impact that the cap on days per year has on the overall housing market in Los Angeles,”  say Roy Samaan, LAANE Research & Policy Analyst.  “For the overwhelming majority of neighborhoods across LA, a 90 day cap offers a weak incentive for landlords to rent out their units on Airbnb.  However, the currently-proposed 180 day limit offers a substantial financial incentive to rent out units on Airbnb instead of long-term tenants.”

Regulators all over the world are currently working on ways to control Airbnb and other short-term rental platforms. The issue of caps has been considered and implemented in a number of cities.  Many of these cities have found the caps impossible to measure and enforce, leading to complete bans on short-term-rental activities.

“Protecting affordable housing has been the goal of regulations in a number of cities,” said Murray Cox, founder of Inside Airbnb.  “Again and again regulations have failed. New York and San Francisco, as examples, have revised their ordinances because enforcement is impossible and compliance rates are low. Based on my incentive analysis of existing Airbnb’s operating illegally in Los Angeles, it’s clear that landlords will be economically motivated to turn more affordable apartments and homes into short-term rentals, It’s vital that the city adopt short-term rental ordinances that are both enforceable and truly protect affordable housing - and that means a complete ban on entire home rentals, or a low cap with data sharing and platform accountability.”

Data for a number of Los Angeles neighborhoods is attached below. On average in Los Angeles, it takes 83 nights per year to earn more on Airbnb than can be earned in a whole year of renting to a long-term renter.

Zip Code

Neighborhood

Council District

Number of Nights Needed to Earn More on Airbnb than Renting Long Term

90291

Venice

11

83

90028

Hollywood/Thai Town

13

86

90026

Silver Lake/Echo Park

13

79

90027

Griffith Park/Los Feliz

4 & 13

79

90029

Downtown Los Angeles

14

88

90063

Boyle Hts/City Terrace

14

84

90004

Koreatown

10 & 4

78

91602

North Hollywood/ Toluca Lake

2

68

90048

Beverly Grove

5

76

90731

San Pedro

15

91

91405

Van Nuys

6

80

90065

Cypress Park

1

86

91364

Woodland Hills

3

75

90008

Baldwin Hills/Crenshaw

10

84

90018

Jefferson Park

8

87

90011

South Los Angeles

9

79




Letter to Mayor Garcetti: No Taxation Without Regulation

Today KNF joined our coalition of workers, neighbors, tenants, lodging associations, employers and affordable housing advocates came together to tell Mayor Garcetti that his recent agreement with Airbnb is hurtful to the ongoing regulation process for short-term rentals in the City of Los Angeles. 

Read the LA Times article about the agreement. 

The letter further encourages the Mayor to delay the implementation of the agreement until regulatory decisions have been made.

 


Tell the Councilman how short term rentals impact you!

For more than a year, our coalition has worked hard to have our voice heard by the City of Los Angeles. As the City Council gets closer to adopting a final home sharing ordinance, it is even more important that we weigh in once again. City Councilman Mitch O’Farrell, who represents parts of Hollywood, Silver Lake, Echo Park and Atwater Village recently sent out a survey for people to respond to. KNF urges every one of our members and partners (no matter where they live) to respond to the survey QUICKLY. The deadline is August 31!

Tell the Councilman that we must protect rent-stabilized housing in Los Angeles and cannot allow home sharing in rent-stabilized housing. And be sure to share that 180 days--or half of the year--is too many days to allow home sharing in our neighborhoods. We need a much lower cap to protect affordable housing and the quality of life in our neighborhoods. In fact, research shows that even a 90-day cap incentives landlords to rent short-term rather than to long-term residents in need of housing. 

Please find the survey here.


Debate Continues on the Impacts of "Sharing Economy"

As we approach the final set of hearings on the new home sharing ordinance for Los Angeles, the debate about the impacts of the "sharing economy" continues to garner media attention. 

We were pleased to see some of our most-respected Senators, Feintstein and Warren, author a strongly-worded letter.

“We are concerned that short-term rentals may be exacerbating housing shortages and driving up the cost of housing in our communities.  We have also read troubling reports of racial discrimination on some short-term rental platforms. Furthermore, we are concerned that communities and consumers may be put at risk through violations of sensible health, safety, and zoning regulations under state and local law,” the senators wrote.  “In order to assess of the use and impact of the short-term rental market, we need reliable data on the commercial use of online platforms. We believe the FTC is best positioned to address this data gap in an unbiased manner and we urge the Commission to conduct a review of commercial operators on short-term rental platforms.”

The letter to FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez also raised concerns about recent data which revealed that commercial users in New York made up an outsized share of the revenue from short-term rentals and a vast majority of units violated state and local laws.  The subpoenaed data along with recent housing disputes with these companies in cities like Honolulu and San Francisco underscore the immediate need for further study of this issue. 

To follow on the concerns about economic impacts, even Secretary of State Clinton has raised some questions, saying recently: “Many Americans are making extra money renting out a spare room...This on demand or so called 'gig' economy is creating exciting opportunities and unleashing innovation, but its also raising hard questions about workplace protections and what a good job will look like in the future…"

Home for Renters campaign to Ensure Rent-Stabilized Tenants Know Their Rights

As we continue to battle short-term rental abuse in our neighborhoods, the biggest injury to our communities has been the loss of rent-stabilized housing. Greedy landlords continue to find ways to encourage people to vacate, only to turn once permanent rental housing into short-term. It’s no secret that Los Angeles has been facing a housing crisis for years, and short-term rentals have exacerbated the situation.

We were pleased to see that the City of Los Angeles and Mayor Garcetti have launched a new program to ensure that tenants living in rent-stabilized units know their rights.

Learn more about the Home for Renters campaign

It is estimated that there are about 624,000 units in Los Angeles that are covered by the rent stabilization ordinance.

Learn more about your rights or file a complaint

 


Elizabeth Warren and Diane Feinstein Urge Investigation into Short Term Rentals

Senators Elizabeth Warren and Dianne Feinstein want regulators to look into Airbnb's business practices and investigate the extent to which the STR market actually consists of commercial rental firms.The proposed investigation would be very useful as it is clear that there are abuses that need to be addressed. 

Read Warren & Feinstein's letter


Ally Highlight: Coalition for Economic Survival

The allies that KNF has gained in our fight to regulate short-term rentals have been remarkable and are doing such amazing work throughout Los Angeles.

The Coalition for Economic Survival, led by well-known activist Larry Gross is a great example. Larry is working successfully on a number of  issues - his perspective as it relates to short-term rentals is worth sharing.

Below are highlights from a recent newsletter with a lot of great information. We hope you will appreciate it as much as we do!

 

 

Read more

KNF Co-founder to Speak at Short Term Rental Event

Seeking Long-Term Solutions for Short-Term Rentals (NON-MEMBERS)

Friday, July 15, 2016 at 07:15 AM
The Olympic Collection in Los Angeles, CA

More than five years after Airbnb, Home Away, and other short-term rental services started "disrupting" the hospitality industry, the City of Los Angeles and other Southern California cities are reckoning with the impacts. By some estimates, over 11,000 properties in the City of L.A. are listed on Airbnb (compared to 98,000 hotel rooms citywide), including nearly 12 percent of properties in hot neighborhoods like Venice. For proponents, STRs offer extra income and new ways to welcome visitors to our cities. For others, STRs are nuisances and black-market businesses, and they make a housing shortage even worse. Fair regulations have been difficult to draft and, in some cases, even more difficult to enforce.

These debates have pitted neighbor against neighbor, homeowners against hoteliers, and advocates of affordable housing against free-market champions.  WUF will address the complexities of short-term rentals in July, including an assessment of Los Angeles' draft ordinance.  We will seek the real story on the economic and social impacts of STRs and discuss what lies ahead for guests, hosts, and their neighbors.

Panelists
Judith Roth Goldman, Co-Founder, Keep Neighborhoods First
Walter Gonzales, Government Relations, HomeAway
Lynn Mohrfeld, President & CEO, California Hotels & Lodging Association
Robert St. Genis, Executive Director, Los Angeles Short-Term Rental Alliance

Moderator
Salvador Valles, Assistant Director of Planning and Community Development, City of Santa Monica

The Olympic Collection
11301 Olympic Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90064

7:15am Registration
7:50am Breakfast 
8:00am Panel Discussion

$40 members
$55 nonmembers
$10 student members 
$15 student nonmembers

Pre-registration closes on Wednesday, July 13, 2016.  After July 13, 2016 and at onsite registration the cost will be an additional $10.00.  No refunds or credits will be provided after this date.

**WUF offers a special, discounted rate for individuals involved in land use, planning, and development issues on a grass roots and neighborhood level on an unpaid basis. If you are interested in attending this WUF breakfast with a discounted rate, please send your request to info@westsideurbanforum.com with your contact information and description of your neighborhood level activities prior to July 13, 2016. Certain restrictions apply.

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