Airbnb alleged to worsen housing crunch in New York City

Allegedly removing thousands of housing units from market, driving up rents.

July 07, 2016 |

Room available through Airbnb. Photo: Geremy F/Creative Commons

A study by two housing advocacy groups alleges that Airbnb is worsening New York City’s tight housing supply, and is likely causing thousands of units to be pulled from the market.

Housing Conservation Coordinators and MFY Legal Service, which conducted the study, identified 8,000 Airbnb listings that advertised so frequently that they were likely illegally converted into hotel rooms. This situation has caused rents to rise in the city, the study contends.

More than half of the units on Airbnb were being offered for rent by owners who had multiple units up for rent. This is a sign that they were being run by de-facto illegal hotel operators, the report says. Airbnb disputed the study’s findings, saying that its methodology was flawed and accused it of being funded by the hotel industry.

Cities across the country have been challenged to apply existing codes and regulations to the growth of the site that matches property owners with travelers looking for short-term rental accommodations.

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