The crux of the debate about short-term rentals is this: What is more important? Protecting affordable housing and neighborhoods, or protecting the profits of home-sharing platforms?
As regulatory proposals continue to arise in cities all of the nation and world, Airbnb and the other platforms are coming up with absurd reasons to fight them—all in an effort to make more money at the expense of communities.
It is happening in L.A. and this GeekWire story describes what is happening in Seattle. A Councilmember sums it up nicely. “There are an estimated four to five thousand Seattle homes, whether that’s a condo or an apartment unit or a private residence, that are being offered on these rental platforms today…Airbnb tells us that since 2009, their volume of users has doubled each year, so we know that this a large, growing sector and it is clearly providing economic benefits to hosts. We don’t want to interfere with that, but we do want to regulate commercial enterprises that are converting large numbers of Seattle homes to short-term rentals.”