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.