Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Proposition F: does Airbnb have a repugnance problem?

The president won't get elected today, but it is an election day. And in San Francisco, the home of Airbnb, voters will vote on City of San Francisco Initiative to Restrict Short-Term Rentals, Proposition F (November 2015). It would restrict short term rentals to no more than 75 days a year.

Here's the story in the LA Times: San Francisco residents to vote on contentious Prop. F targeting Airbnb
"Proposition F supporters say it's about time tougher rules are created. Laws enacted by City Hall this year have been weak, and companies like Airbnb have been skirting the rules with impunity, according to attorney Joseph Tobener, who represents the San Francisco Tenants Union (also a supporter of Proposition F).

"I think they're having a heyday right now because there's no enforcement," Tobener said. "There is no enforcement in the city at all right now. It's do whatever you want. Rent out as much as you want. No one is going to enforce it."

To Tobener's point, enforcement of existing laws that require short-term rental hosts to be registered with the Planning Department seems lax. There are an estimated 10,000 short-term rental listings in San Francisco. As of Thursday, the recently created Office of Short-Term Rentals had issued only 728 registration certificates.

According to office director Kevin Guy, most San Francisco listings on Airbnb are probably in violation of current law."

Airbnb seems to have raised some visceral repugnance.
TechCrunch has the story: Housing Activists Swarm Airbnb On Day Before The Vote On Prop F
"A group of activists from the Coalition on Homelessness took over Airbnb headquarters in the SOMA neighborhood of San Francisco this afternoon to protest what they believe is a company at the root cause of evictions and homelessness in the city.

Airbnb has added the lion’s share (more than $8 million) into defeating Proposition F, a proposal some believe is hiking up the rent in SF and converting a bunch of needed housing into bed and breakfasts, instead. Prop F, which goes up for a vote tomorrow, would limit to 75 the amount of days Airbnb hosts could rent out their properties per year."

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