Creating Economic Opportunity in New York’s Predominantly Black Neighborhoods

As the cost of living continues to increase in New York City, making ends meet can be an expensive endeavor. But Airbnb is making it possible for more New Yorkers to stay in their homes and for visitors from around the world to experience neighborhoods outside traditional hotel zones. As a result, neighborhood businesses in all five boroughs, which do not typically benefit from tourism dollars, are receiving a major economic boost.

While the beneficial impact of Airbnb can be felt in nearly every corner of the city, understanding how this economic lift is impacting specific communities is an important part of understanding the story of Airbnb in New York City. To do this, the Airbnb data science team dug a bit deeper to understand how our community has grown in neighborhoods that have been historically underserved when it comes to traditional tourist accommodation options.

According to a report released today, the number of Airbnb guests grew 78 percent year-over-year in the 30 New York City zip codes with the largest percentage of black residents compared, to 50 percent city-wide. Today’s report is part of a multi-report series that will explore the issue of community impact from a variety of vantage points.

This data also tells another important story. Of the 1.26 million visitors who came to New York City via Airbnb last year, one in seven stayed with a host in these 30 zip codes, a clear response to the dearth of hotels in these neighborhoods. New York City has over 1,000 hotels but only 6 percent (65 total) are in the zip codes considered for this report.

That unmet demand has created a huge economic lift for the thousands of New Yorkers who share their homes, putting more than $43 million dollars into the pockets of hosts in these 30 zip codes last year alone.

Elected officials representing some of these zip codes are also recognizing Airbnb as a meaningful resource for New Yorkers. City Councilmember Robert E. Cornegy Jr. (D-36):

“This report is very much in line with what I hear from homeowners and small business operators in my central Brooklyn district. They are making choices that meet their economic needs and also support one another. This spirit of hospitality is very much a part of the culture of Bedford-Stuyvesant and Crown Heights and I’m proud to represent my constituents by defending it.”

Check out the full report here.