April 21, 2016
BROOKLYN —Airbnb, the wildly popular but politically embattled short-term stay platform, says it’s helping boost the economies of New York’s predominantly black neighborhoods, where the number of guests are increasing significantly faster than in other parts of the city. But critics of Airbnb called this data misleading, and noted that Airbnb’s practices further exacerbate the city’s housing crisis, which is affecting black and Latino New Yorkers at disproportionate rates. “The company is highlighting that 58 percent of hosts are offering private rooms as opposed to whole apartments, however that still leaves nearly 50 percent of their hosts contributing to the lack of housing options in the city,” City Council members Jumaane Williams and Helen Rosenthal said in a statement. The report is “an attempt at clever misdirection by Airbnb,” the council members said. “They may want to focus our attention on the hosts who are using the service legally, but we are focused on the ones they are continuing to hide and are using the system illegally.” Rosenthal and Williams also questioned who was profiting from these Airbnb stays. “More likely than not, the apartment owners do not live in the same communities they are profiting from,” they said….
Source: https://www.dnainfo.com/new-york/20160421/central-harlem/airbnb-touts-growth-of-tourists-staying-citys-predominantly-black-areas