Early in the morning on Tuesday, May 10th, around 30 New York Airbnb hosts boarded buses and made the three hour trip to Albany to meet with state lawmakers. They had one goal in mind: to educate lawmakers on the positive impact of home sharing in New York.
From all corners of the city, and even from around the state, these everyday New Yorkers took the day off work to represent our host community in the state Capitol. Throughout the day, hosts talked about the need to change the law and allow New Yorkers to share their homes for less than 30 days at a time while they are away. They also discussed ways to protect the availability of affordable housing, and the merits of allowing Airbnb to collect and remit taxes on their behalf.
Before meeting with lawmakers, hosts gathered on the steps of the Capitol to brief press on the ways home sharing is helping them make ends meet in an increasingly expensive city:
Chandra from the Bronx said:
About two years ago, I started noticing that it was becoming increasingly hard to pay my bills even though I had a full-time job and frequently worked overtime hours. Sharing my home with visitors helps me turn one of my biggest expenses into an asset.
Danie from Bed-Stuy said:
I’m a visual artist, so I started hosting on Airbnb to earn additional money to help me stabilize my income. Hosting on Airbnb gives me the freedom to pursue my passion. It’s a valuable tool for artists like me. It lets us focus on doing what we love and gives us the extra support we need to help make ends meet.
Richelle from Bed-Stuy said:
The money we earn through Airbnb helps us afford to pay for our children’s education and makes it affordable for us to stay in our home. This extra income is going to go a long way to making sure that I’m able to pass this brownstone down to them someday.
There are three weeks left of New York’s legislative session, after which lawmakers will return to their districts for the rest of the year. We hope that these hosts’ stories will inspire the New York Assembly and State Senate to act sensibly on any proposed bills that impact home sharing in the remaining weeks of session.