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Bill Would Enact Major Crackdown On Airbnb In NYC

June 07, 2018 - 2:34 pm

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) -- A bill introduced at a City Council meeting Thursday would fine Airbnb up to $25,000 for each listing it leaves out of monthly reports it sends to the Mayor’s Office of Special Enforcement.

As WCBS 880’s Rich Lamb reported, supporters of the bill to crack down on home-sharing claim it drives up rents, making New York City even less affordable. They also say some home-sharing is being done illegally.

City Councilman Keith Powers (D-4th) favors the crackdown on Airbnb, and said his constituents are having problems with shared apartments.

“You have to live next door to somebody who is renting out their apartment, leaves them wondering whether they are going to be safe, whether they are going have considerate neighbors and whether they are really going to be able to live in a neighborhood that's going to have a strong quality of life,” Powers said.

Powers acknowledged that he has accepted campaign contributions from the hotel industry.

Meanwhile, the Rev. Kirsten John Foy, a paid adviser to Airbnb, said income from home-sharing is helpful to communities of color. He also said he has not time for the Mayor’s Office of Special Enforcement.

“They harass. They intimidate. They bully. They engage in physical confrontation in some cases,” he said.

But the measure has the votes to pass.