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Airbnb generates meaningful income for local families

Opinion: Airbnb contributes positively to community

By Laura Spanjian

Airbnb Public Policy Director for the Northwest

Published on June 16, 2017 9:48AM

Every year, thousands of people vacation on the Oregon coast, taking in the scenic beauty and visiting local businesses. Responsible Airbnb hosts help communities accommodate these visitors, while earning extra money to help make ends meet.

Recently, two misleading reports, paid for by the hotel industry and cited by local opponents of short-term rentals, attempted to cast these Airbnb hosts and the revenue their guests generate for communities in a negative light.

The truth is that the vast majority of hosts on the Oregon coast are middle class residents who occasionally share their own homes to save for retirement, make a mortgage payment, pay down student debt, and make ends meet when unemployment or illness hits.

Indeed, far from taking housing off the market, home sharing is helping long-time residents stay in the homes and communities they love.

● In Seaside, our 140 active hosts welcomed 14,000 guests over the past year, with the typical host renting their home for just two nights a month. 64 percent of guests are women and 52 percent are over the age of 50, highlighting how home sharing is being used as a way to age in place for many long-time residents.

● In Cannon Beach, our 30 active hosts welcomed 6,000 guests over the past year, with the typical host renting their home for fewer than 30 nights a year.

● And in Astoria, our 50 active hosts welcomed 6,000 guests over the past year, with 80 percent of hosts renting their home for fewer than 90 nights a year.

Contrary to what the hotel industry wants you to think, Airbnb is eager to pay lodging taxes on behalf of our community. That’s why we have reached agreements with over 275 jurisdictions globally, including the State of Oregon and 14 cities and counties in the state, that extend existing taxes to short term rentals on our platform. These agreements — which no longer include confidentiality requirements -- have already generated more than $175 million to support core public services, including over $13 million to local and state coffers here in Oregon.

Beyond taxes, we have developed best-in-class tools to build trust and safety on our platform, from a $1 million insurance policy that protects hosts, guests, and neighbors and background checks on hosts and guests to a 24/7 global customer support team and a mutual review system that weeds out poorly performing hosts and guests.

In addition, we have worked with scores of cities to develop regulations that work for their communities ­— protecting public safety and permanent housing, while ensuring that residents and local businesses can continue to benefit from the economic opportunities home sharing provides.

We’re proud of the community we’ve built in Oregon and honored to be part of the long tradition of home sharing on the coast.


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