The Facts

 

Los Angeles is facing an affordable housing crisis with a severely limited stock of rental housing, and Airbnb is exacerbating the problem. Thanks to Airbnb, the LA is losing desperately needed housing as commercial operators turn long-term residential housing into short-term vacation stays. The Airbnb equation is simple. Airbnb invades a city and steals housing from the long-term market, restricting the available housing supply. When the supply of housing goes down, rent goes up for all. Studies support this simple math, and further prove that the majority of Airbnb listings come from commercial operators, causing cities like Los Angeles to fight back to protect their affordable housing stock and keep the integrity of their neighborhoods from transient occupancy. Airbnb’s destruction of affordable housing isn’t the only negative effect of the unchecked growth of Airbnb in LA and cities across the nation. Airbnb has been accused of racial discrimination, tax evasion, and public safety and quality of life issues.

Housing Impact

 

  • A direct correlation between neighborhoods with rents well above the citywide average and those with a high density of Airbnb listings. The report found these neighborhoods boast an average rent 20 percent higher than the citywide average. (LAANE study)
  • In Los Angeles, the latest study said about 22% of Airbnb operators rent their properties for at least 180 days a year, while 4% offer the homes for at least 360 days a year.[1]
  • If property owners who rent out homes and apartments on the popular home-sharing site Airbnb were to pay taxes as hotels do, the city of Los Angeles would collect an extra $41 million each year.[2]
  • LA Currently has 577 Full-time operators, generating $86,254,017 in revenue which is 31.2% of total revenue[3]   [Full-time operator: Any host renting out unit(s) 360 or more days per year.]
  •  The 7,316 units taken off the rental market by AirBnB is equivalent to seven years’ of affordable housing construction in Los Angeles.[4]
  • Nine LA neighborhoods account for 73% of the money Airbnb makes in the region. [5]
Other Issues

 

Racial Discrimination: Two Harvard Business School studies show that Airbnb hosts are 16% less likely to rent to guests with African American sounding names, and African American hosts make 12% less than white hosts with identical listings.

Tax Evasion: Airbnb has devised a sophisticated scheme to avoid paying hundreds of millions in taxes by using over 40 overseas subsidiaries in tax havens like Ireland and Jersey of the Channel Islands.

Public Safety: Fire safety and building code violations and hazards are rampant in Airbnb’s because residential buildings do not meet the same fire and safety code standards as commercial hotels.

Quality of Life Issues: Airbnb can undermine the character of residential neighborhoods through increased traffic, loss of parking, noise and wild parties at night, littering, and extra wear and tear on building public areas.

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Sources

 [1] http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-airbnb-los-angeles-study-20160330-story.html

[2]  http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-airbnb-los-angeles-study-20160330-story.html

[3] http://www.ahla.com/uploadedFiles/_Common/pdf/PennState_AirBnbReport_.pdf

[4,5] http://la.curbed.com/2015/3/11/9981836/airbnb-neighborhoods-los-angeles