Airbnb Battle: Corporate Interests Oppose Private Rentals
Local governments and hotels are struggling to come to terms with the growing phenomenon of Airbnb room rentals, which help residents find short-term paying guests that often provide an economic lifeline to help them pay their bills, rent or mortgage. It’s an affordable, convenient and comfortable alternative for travelers.
Critics claim the service removes affordable housing units and official hotel rooms from the market by turning suitable apartments into unofficial hotels. Consequently, proposed ordinances are in the works in several U.S. metropolitan areas where Airbnb entrepreneurs and industry groups are also active in trying to shape future laws.
Other on-demand grassroots industries such as ride-hailing companies Uber and Lyft, which have flourished in unregulated “gray areas”, have learned they need to employ teams of lawyers and lobbyists to fight a stream of restrictive laws and lawsuits.
This article appears in the May 2017 issue of Natural Awakenings.