Report Claims Airbnb Has Negative Impact On NYC Housing Supply

January 22, 2019 - 7:20 pm
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NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — Airbnb is pushing back against a new report that shows it's had a negative impact on the city's housing supply.

According to the report from Share Better, around two-thirds of all short-term rental activity in New York City is illegal.

“New York Actually has some of the strongest laws on short term rentals in the country, and actually in the entire world,” said McGill University urban planning professor David Wachsmuth.

One of those laws, according to WCBS 880’s Steve Burns, forbids any rental of an entire house for fewer than 30 days.

“The city just has a very hard time tracking down hosts to talk about enforcement,” Wachsmuth explained.

New York City recently passed a law looking to help by forcing Airbnb and similar companies to disclose host information.

However, a judge quickly put a stop to it, finding a chance that the companies would prevail on claims that the law violates the Fourth Amendment right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures.

Though, if things stay the same, Wachsmuth believes thousands of units that could help house New Yorkers will be used to make more of a profit in the short-term market.

“Basically, there’s a reserve of about 10,000 homes, that if we had effective regulations in place, those could just go on to the long-term rental market and really help with the housing shortage that New York is facing right now,” the professor said.

Airbnb in a statement denounced Wachsmuth’s report saying his methodology is flawed and notes his report was funded by the hotel industry. Wachsmuth said it had no influence on his work.

“Pretty much everybody who looks at the issue finds those same facts,” he told WBCS 880. “The facts are what they are.”