Debating the Costs and Benefits of Airbnb's Short-Term Rentals

A labor group is taking on the impact of short-term rentals on the housing market in one of the most expensive cities in the country. The debate is contentious, with numbers flying both ways, and also critical for the economic health of cities.
March 16, 2015, 12pm PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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"A report released Wednesday [March 11] from the pro-labor group Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy finds the commercialization of short-term rentals is exacerbating L.A.'s housing crisis and driving up the price of rent," reports Kristen Lepore.

The article quotes LAANE analyst Roy Samaan in explaining the findings of the report: "We boil it down to a pretty simple question of supply and demand,….When units are not available for rent, the supply of rental units is less and that means prices will have to respond."

Airbnb counters by citing research completed by Thomas Davidoff, a professor at University of British Columbia on contract for Airbnb, which found that "people sharing a home that wasn’t their primary residence increased rental prices by at most $6 - a third of one percent - over the past five years…"

The article goes on to provide more back and forth between critics of supporters of Airbnb, including an explanation about the fundamental difference between the two opposing sides gather and analyze the data to make their case. 

Full Story:
Published on Wednesday, March 11, 2015 in KPCC
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