Centering Equity in Short-Term Rental Regulations

How can city officials mitigate the negative impacts of short-term rentals?

2 minute read

December 29, 2022, 10:00 AM PST

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction


Close-up of phone with Airbnb map of New York

RightFramePhotoVideo / Short-term rental app

A blog post in Urban Wire by Luisa Godinez-Puig and Jorge González-Hermoso outlines the costs and opportunities presented by the rise of short-term rentals (STRs).

On the one hand, incentivizing unregulated growth can result in the reduction of for-sale and rental housing supply and the displacement of local communities because of increasing rent costs or units being taken off the rental and ownership markets. On the other, residents can potentially diversify income sources, and cities can see an increase economic activities and tourism. As is often the case, different communities are affected in different ways.

The authors describe STR policies from cities around the world that effectively regulate the industry, as well as the demographics of STR ownership. “If the government doesn’t set incentives correctly, STR-friendly agreements, like the one in Mexico City, may end up benefiting wealthy individuals with multiple properties who are running large businesses, rather than those leveraging their sole assets to diversify their income sources.”

The authors also note that renters could suffer most from an increase in STRs in their community and describe ways that governments can prevent displacement. The authors conclude, “Each of these solutions has its merits, but to find the best solution for a particular city, local governments should prioritize equity and proactively consider the consequences of increasing STRs in their communities, including how to help STR owners in communities of color benefit from this market and how to use public funds generated by STRs for housing projects.”

Monday, December 19, 2022 in Urban Wire

Large blank mall building with only two cars in large parking lot.

Pennsylvania Mall Conversion Bill Passes House

If passed, the bill would promote the adaptive reuse of defunct commercial buildings.

April 18, 2024 - Central Penn Business Journal

Aerial view of Oakland, California with bay in background

California Exodus: Population Drops Below 39 Million

Never mind the 40 million that demographers predicted the Golden State would reach by 2018. The state's population dipped below 39 million to 38.965 million last July, according to Census data released in March, the lowest since 2015.

April 11, 2024 - Los Angeles Times

A view straight down LaSalle Street, lined by high-rise buildings with an El line running horizontally over the street.

Chicago to Turn High-Rise Offices into Housing

Four commercial buildings in the Chicago Loop have been approved for redevelopment into housing in a bid to revitalize the city’s downtown post-pandemic.

April 10, 2024 - Chicago Construction News

Purple jacaranda trees in bloom in Los Angeles with tall white Art Deco buildings in background.

LA County Releases Draft Community Forest Management Plan

LA County's Chief Sustainability Office just released the discussion draft of Room to Grow, the first Community Forest Management Plan for the county.

April 21 - Los Angeles County Chief Sustainability Office

Aerial view of downtown Seattle, Washington at dusk.

Seattle Downtown Plan Expands Permitted Uses

The Downtown Activation Plan shifts from Euclidean to form-based zoning to encourage more commercial development.

April 21 - Governing

Large water pipe with brown water pouring out into dirt ditch.

Southern Water Infrastructure at Risk From Climate Impacts

A water main breaks somewhere in the United States every two minutes, according to an estimate from the American Society of Civil Engineers.

April 21 - The Conversation

News from HUD User

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

Call for Speakers

Mpact Transit + Community

New Updates on PD&R Edge

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Planning for Universal Design

Learn the tools for implementing Universal Design in planning regulations.