How Airbnb is helping support hard-working New Yorkers

Right now the New York City Council is considering a bill that would punish hard-working New Yorkers with a fine of up to $50,000 for sharing their home while away for work or any other reason.

In response to this extreme measure being pushed by some members of the City Council, hundreds of Airbnb community members shared their support for Airbnb. Check out some of the moving responses below:

I have 2 kids in college and the fees are outrageous. I’ve been an Airbnb host for the past 2 years and the income I have received has made it possible for me to pay for my kids education. I am glad I became a member of Airbnb in 2013, this opportunity has enabled me to meet wonderful people from all over the world.

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I must be hearing this wrong. As I understand it… • a landlord that doesn’t provide heat to their tenant is fined a maximum of $500 a day (I’ve even gone without hot water for weeks and my building only got a slap on the wrist), • a landlord who lets rats run rampant on their property can be fined a maximum of $2,000 per violation, • a landlord who allows people to be exposed to lead paint can be fined up to a maximum of $10,000 per violation. …if I share my home (provide heat, a rat & lead free environment – b/c it takes work to make sure my building does what it’s suppose to), the NYC Council wants to fine me, a 16 years and counting, New Yorker who pays taxes in triplicate (city, state, federal), $50,000 simply for sharing the home IN WHICH I LIVE when I leave town for work or other reasons. This is crazy and out of proportion. So, if there is a natural disaster or other emergency and I’m deployed to serve my country, I need to leave my guests in a lurch or be fined $50K?! Who are these council members fighting for? Freelancers (artists and entertainers, the heart of this city) that travel, this is an attack on them/us too. And since I am both a freelancer and a service-member, I am doubly offended at this attack! Please support artists and service members like me that believe in the good of a sharing economy. Many of my guests would not come to NYC and spend their money (injecting their tourist dollars into the NYC economy) were they not to stay with me for cheap. I have made a lot of friends internationally and the world is a less scary place when we all get to know each other — which the sharing economy platform provides. Get with the program NYC council. Support NYC citizens (civilian and service member alike) and not just special interests and the hotel lobby. There is enough for everyone …and when ALL New Yorkers benefit, the city of New York benefits.

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Home sharing in New York increases tourism by providing travelers with more options on where to stay without breaking the bank. It makes New Yorkers look good, people get to know us when they are invited into our homes and that’s when friendships are created. In a country where people can barely afford to travel, barely talk to one another face to face due to increase technology and where people sometimes can’t afford to live in their own homes because of price increases – Airbnb is a way for New Yorkers to be better people, have better lives and share their lives with others. It is wrong to punish something intrinsically good.

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Please support Airbnb. This income is helping to pay for college housing for my girls.

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As a walking food tour guide in New York City, everything I do promotes the city’s best interests, including being an Airbnb host. Last winter I broke my ankle on some ice in Riverside Park, which left me unable to work for several months. If not for Airbnb, I would not have been able to pay my rent, and I’d be out of my home by now. These fines are extreme and ridiculous. I certainly believe in regulating Airbnb, but this is beyond.

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Airbnb has allowed me to return to school and I am in the middle of completing my BSN in Nursing at Columbia University. This fine will be detrimental to my life in many ways. I will go straight into bankruptcy not to mention the risk of dropping out of school. Sharing my home not only promotes the economic of our great city but allows me as an individual to better myself professionally.

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Airbnb is a wonderful way to make living in NYC more affordable. A fine of this size could lead to bankruptcy and force me out of my home. I thought the City Government was committed to reducing fines on middle class New Yorkers and this is wildly out-of-step with current law!!

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I come to NYC several times a year for business and to visit family. Home sharing allows me to extend my stay from a few days to a week, and sometimes more. I enjoy dinners out with my daughter, take in a Broadway or off- Broadway show, ride in taxis, buy gifts, and always spend more than I would otherwise because I can stay here for less. I know I’m not the only one.

Our community’s responses to this attempt to punish New Yorkers and their families has been overwhelming. But if we’re going to successfully push back against this unfair bill, we need as many New Yorkers as possible to share why they support Airbnb in NYC.