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WHAT AIRBNB DOES TO RENTERS, EMPLOYEES, AND CITIES

A recent study argues that cities need to start treating Airbnb like any other hotel business, and regulate it accordingly.

Washington, D.C., is restricting it. Florida might stop investing in it. New Orleans is trying to ban it completely. Across the country, legislators are not happy with Airbnb.

Since it was founded in 2008, the short-term rental platform has been the subject of several critical research papers that have blamed it for raising housing prices, changing employment dynamics, and taking chunks out of city tax revenue. A new analysis from the Economic Policy Institute attempts to more comprehensively catalog these local impacts—and measure what, if anything, cities get out of the deal. To better align the costs and benefits, the study's author, Josh Bivens, argues, cities need to start treating Airbnb like any other hotel business, and regulate it accordingly.

"It becomes a straight conflict between whose interests you care more about: long-term residents of the city, or those that visit it," Bivens says.

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