Lawmakers look at how Airbnb affects NYC housing, economy

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

NEW YORK (AP) — With home-as-hotel sites like Airbnb doing booming business, New York City lawmakers are scrutinizing how the trend affects the economy and housing market.

A City Council hearing Tuesday is shaping up to be a faceoff over the pros and cons of short-term apartment rentals.

While aimed at travelers, Airbnb and similar sites have become a focal point for debate about affordable housing.

Critics say the services shrink the amount of available housing by creating an incentive to convert apartments into de facto hotel rooms, rather than rent to residents. In New York, it's generally illegal to rent an apartment for under 30 days unless the apartment's resident also stays there.

Airbnb says that most hosts are complying with the law and that sharing their homes help them afford their apartments.