Study Finds More Reasons to Worry About Airbnb's Effect in the Housing Market

The new study, published by the Urban Politics and Governance research group at McGill University, comes with a major disclaimer: it was funded by the Hotel Trades Council, AFL-CIO, among other.
February 1, 2018, 9am PST | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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Sally Goldenberg reports on a new report titled "The High Cost of Short-Term Rentals in New York City," which finds that Airbnb "exacerbates income inequality, benefits white hosts who own homes in predominantly black and Hispanic neighborhoods, and renders thousands of apartments unavailable in a city starved for housing."

More specifically, the study "concludes that Airbnb hosts are responsible for removing between 7,000 and 13,500 apartments from the city's long-term rental market, driving up rents by contributing to a housing shortage and threatening to gentrify neighborhoods that have historically been affordable to non-white residents."

A team from McGill University's School of Urban Planning performed all the analysis and crafted all the findings and conclusions of the report, with funding from the Hotel Trades Council, AFL-CIO, as well as New York-based housing and tenant advocacy organizations like New York Communities For Change, Housing Conservation Coordinators, Goddard Riverside Law Project, St. Nick’s Alliance, Cooper Square Committee, Mobilization for Justice (formerly MFY Legal Services), West Side Neighborhood Association, and the Hell’s Kitchen Neighborhood Association.

Inside Airbnb followed up on the news of the new study, placing it in a chronology it launched a year ago, when it published a study titled "Faces of Airbnb: NYC, Airbnb as a Racial Gentrification Tool." Murray Cox of Inside Airbnb writes that post, offering an explanation of that study's findings and a chronology of the ongoing controversy and debate over the effects of Airbnb.

The McGill University study isn't the only news worthy development in scientific study into the effects of short-term rental companies, though the following crop of news originates from the West Coast as a result of regulatory changes. As we reported earlier this month, the city of San Francisco's short-term rental market has been completely upended after new regulations took effect in recent months. A new study by the Bay Area Council Economic Institute [pdf] explains the recent policy changes and examines their impacts. 

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Published on Monday, January 29, 2018 in Politico
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