Airbnb Critics Join in Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s Call for Transparent Data
As soaring demand has sent rents skyward across many urban centers in the United States, city leaders have tried to identify problems and find affordable housing solutions for working class and poor residents. More than 40 of these local leaders said Thursday that they suspect Airbnb and similar short-term rental services could be, in part, to blame.
In a letter to Federal Trade Commission Chairwoman Edith Ramirez, representatives from more than a dozen American cities, including the nation’s most expensive rental markets – from New York City and Boston to San Francisco, Oakland, and San Jose – called for greater transparency about the “sharing economy” company’s effect on surrounding communities.
The letter argues that local authorities need reliable data from Airbnb, VRBO, HomeAway, and FlipKey to distinguish users who merely rent out their own homes for short periods of time from those who run multi-property commercial enterprises that could be flouting additional rules and regulations.