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Eyes on the City: Airbnb & Short Term Rentals

This week, the City Council will examine a controversial bill that would increase fines for New Yorkers who place their apartments and homes for short term rentals. This Friday, the Council’s Housing Committee will discuss a proposal to increase fines to up to $50,000 for repeat offenders. Council Members Jumaane Williams, Helen Rosenthal, and other sponsors of the bill have argued that the availability of Airbnb drives up housing costs and creates nuisances for nearby residents. Airbnb strongly opposes the measure and has called it the Freddy Krueger of bills. They, and others, argue that middle class families rely on the extra income visitors provide, and that Airbnb offers affordable choices for travelers, visitors, and residents. MAS supports the integration of new technologies into the life of our city. We look to the City to create a framework that allows Airbnb to operate in New York while protecting New York’s neighborhoods.