2018-07-22 — bloomberg.com
The law, which passed 45-to-0 in a city council vote Wednesday, is designed to help enforce existing rules banning short-term rentals. Mayor Bill de Blasio has said he supports the bill. Earlier in the day an Airbnb host backed financially by the company filed a lawsuit against New York City, accusing officials of retaliating against him for speaking out in support of home rentals.
Chris Lehane, head of global policy at Airbnb, said the policy will subject innocent hosts to over-policing and violates their privacy. Lehane, a former adviser to President Bill Clinton, lashed out at the council in a conference call with reporters and accused the bill's supporters of putting the interests of hotel owners and unions above regular New Yorkers. "This is a bill that really is designed to benefit the hotel industry," he said.
The debate over Airbnb's role in New York has raged for years, with housing advocates saying short-term rentals contribute to rising rents and gentrification, while the company argues it helps homeowners afford their mortgages. Regulation hasn't stopped the rise of the San Francisco-based company, which is valued at about $31 billion and has faced resistance from local governments practically since it started a decade ago.
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