Last week, the New York State Senate and Assembly hastily passed legislation in the eleventh hour of this year’s legislative session that would penalize everyday New Yorkers for advertising their homes on platforms like Airbnb. If it becomes law, this legislation would threaten thousands of low and middle income New Yorkers with fines of up to $7,500 simply for listing that they would like to share their homes.
As Airbnb laid out in our Community Compact, we want to work with elected officials to develop sensible regulations for home sharing. We ban illegal hotels on our platform — there’s no place for them in the Airbnb community — and we want to help everyday New Yorkers afford their rent/mortgage, pay the bills, and save for the future. Unfortunately, this new proposal makes no distinction between everyday New Yorkers and illegal hotel operators, and could put some 31,000 New York City residents at increased risk of eviction, foreclosure or bankruptcy.
While we’re disappointed the hotel industry managed to force through this legislation, we were inspired by our community of hosts and guests who spoke out in favor of fair rules for home sharing. Last week, Airbnb hosts from every corner of New York State reached out to their elected officials, delivering thousands of calls, emails, letters and tweets to their state legislators.
Today, our community is more motivated and inspired than ever and we know they’re not alone. The overwhelming majority of New Yorkers support Airbnb and oppose any attempt to fine people for listing or sharing their own homes. New York’s work on behalf of home sharing is just getting started.
Going forward, we’ll be asking our supporters and everyone who wants New York to be a hub of technology and innovation to make their voices heard. Governments around the world have demonstrated that there is a sensible way to regulate home sharing. Our community — along with the hundreds of thousands of people who will use Airbnb to visit New York this summer — will respectfully ask the Governor to reject this legislation and urge lawmakers to act on sensible rules for home sharing.
Airbnb was started because our founders could not pay their rent. Today, we help thousands of people in New York share their homes and earn a little extra money to pay the bills. We’re committed to standing up for the people who power the Airbnb community, and we look forward to working with New York lawmakers to protect home sharing.