July 11, 2016
ALBANY — The City Council’s progressive caucus has written to Gov. Cuomo urging him to sign an anti-Airbnb bill into law.
The first-in-the-nation legislation would prohibit the advertising of home sharing in multifamily units in New York City for less than 30 days and carry fines of up to $7,500 for multiple violations.
In their letter sent to Cuomo Friday, the 15 Council members called the bill, which was sponsored by Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal (D-Manhattan) and Sen. Andrew Lanza (R-Staten Island), a “groundbreaking measure” that will “go a long way toward stopping the proliferation of illegal hotels that currently puts affordable housing at risk.”
The bill was passed by the state Assembly and Senate in June and managed to unite two usual foes — housing activists and developers.
Cracking down on the advertising “will enable the city to recapture thousands of housing units illegally rented on short-term rental sites like Airbnb,” the liberal caucus letter said.
A Cuomo spokesman said the governor is reviewing the legislation. Airbnb opposes the measure, saying 96% of hosts the bill would impact have only one listing — their own homes.
Airbnb opposes the measure, saying that 96% of the hosts the bill would impact have only one listing — their own homes. Airbnb spokesman Peter Schottenfels said the 15 council members who signed the letter represent more than 25,000 hosts “who are clearly not being heard.”
“The only thing groundbreaking here is that these politicians continue to willfully ignore the fact that this bill targets the wrong people,” Schottenfels said.
“It does nothing to deter the commercial operators and instead hurts responsible New Yorkers who rely on home sharing as an economic life preserver.”