NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — They’re styled as funky, friendly ways to travel. But short-term apartment rental sites such as Airbnb are sparking debate over whether they undercut or help housing affordability in New York City.
Scores of proponents and critics packed a City Council hearing Tuesday on how the short-term rental boom affects the city’s housing market and economy.READ MORE: NYPD: Mother Throws 4-Week-Old Daughter, 2-Year-Old Son Out Window Before Jumping Out Herself
On one side, tenants say landlords are unlawfully turning their homes into de facto hotels by renting apartments to high-paying tourists instead of full-time residents. On the other side are homeowners and tenants who say they comply with the law, and that sharing their homes help them afford to stay in them.
Before the hearing started, Airbnb supporters and opponents held dueling rallies outside City Hall.
“It’s actually illegal,” Rachel Christmas Derrick, of Harlem, told CBS2’s Janelle Burrell. “It’s against the laws because affordable housing has been subsidized by taxpayer dollars, and those should not be used for illegal hotels, which is what places like Airbnb do.”
Airbnb supporters said they fear those opposed are trying to take away their rights and their supplemental income.