While this is clearly a political move -- it was timed to begin right before a hearing between Airbnb and the New York Attorney General's office in Albany -- it's also the first case of city leaders unifying behind the short-term rental law.
Manhattan’s elected officials are banding together to demand stricter law enforcement against the use of Airbnb to break state short-term housing laws.
The crux of their argument is that Airbnb is taking rooms and apartments off the market for locals leading to an affordable housing crisis.
“When unaffordable apartments are made more affordable by the income stream from Airbnb, it has the potential to skew the entire housing market toward a higher level for everyone in New York City,” Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer said at an event held in Harlem today.
Brewer stood alongside other federal, state, and local leaders including State Senator Liz Krueger, Congressman Charles Rangel, State Senator Bill Perkins and assemblymember Keith Wright. The group met to voice their support for stronger enforcement of the 2010 illegal hotel law.
The law, which states that many rentals for fewer than 30 days in residential units are illegal and enforceable with fines, is at the center of the case between Airbnb and New York Attorney General.
The Real Affordability for All Coalition, made up of 50 tenant advocate and labor union groups, are also joining the fight against Airbnb by urging city authorities to better execute laws limiting the impact of illegal hostels.
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Photo credit: From the left, Congressman Charles Rangel, Assemblyman Keith Wright, State Senator Liz Krueger, and former Councilman Robert Jackson. Andrew Goldston