How Airbnb Can Support Low-Income Neighborhoods in NYC

New York City suffers from some of the greatest income and wealth inequality in the nation. In Manhattan, the top 5 percent of households earned 88 times as much as the poorest 20 percent in 2013—the highest disparity of any American county. Meanwhile, over 1 in 5 New Yorkers, including 30 percent of youth, live below the poverty line.

There is no silver bullet to solving the problems of poverty. However, according to a new report released today, home sharing is already unlocking a new source of desperately needed income in many low-income communities throughout New York City.

The report– the latest in a series examining Airbnb’s impact in neighborhoods throughout the five boroughs– examines Airbnb activity in a subset of New York City’s low-income Census block group known as HUD Revitalization Areas (HUDRAs), which are primarily located in Harlem/East Harlem, North-Central Brooklyn, and the South Bronx.

Median household income in NYC HUDRAs ($32,000) is 43 percent below the median in non-HUDRAs ($56,000), and one-third of all HUDRA renters pay more than half their income in rent.

The report finds that home sharing in these neighborhoods is growing fast, pumping millions of dollars a year into households and businesses in these communities.

  • Hosts with listings in HUDRAs earned $39 million between July 2015 and July 2016, an 80 percent rise from April 2014-April 2015. Growth in HUDRAs has been faster than the City as a whole.
  • HUDRAs represent 8.9 percent of the City’s Census block groups and generate 9.2 percent of Airbnb listing income in New York City, highlighting the significant demand for accommodation in these communities and the potential for home sharing to help low-income residents make rent, pay for college, or save for retirement.
  • The typical income of a HUDRA host is over $4,500, providing the equivalent of a 13 percent boost to the median household income in these communities.
  • The median HUDRA household can increase its income by 10 percent simply by renting their entire home for just three days a month or an extra room for six days a month.
  • 100 percent of HUDRAs in New York City are outside the traditional hotel district of Midtown Manhattan. As a result, home sharing in HUDRAs is bringing critical economic development to neighborhoods that need it the most.
  • In the median New York City HUDRA, two-thirds of listings are private/shared spaces (as opposed to entire home listings), compared to one-half of listings in the median non-HUDRA Census block group.

 

Download the Full Report