By Reed Andrews
PORTLAND, ORE. – Affordable housing advocates say the city needs to crack down on illegal Airbnbs that they say are contributing to Portland’s housing crisis.
“It’s really like brazen lawlessness,” said Margot Black with Portland Tenants United. “There are homes that have been purchased to become full Airbnbs.”
A Willamette Week commissioned study, along with numbers from the website FiveThirtyEight, found Portland has the second highest rate of “commercial” Airbnbs in the country.
“Commercial” Airbnbs are properties where the homeowner doesn’t live there, but just rents it out.
“When you take a thousand rental units off the market in inner Portland, well we’re going to see the rent effect and the housing price effect spread way out,” Black said.
While Black says these types of Airbnbs are contributing to a spike in rent and housing prices she doesn’t have any hard data on how responsible it is for the problem.
“This is kind of a perfect storm of a way to just push rents up,” Black said.
A spokesperson from Airbnb released the following statement:
This analysis doesn’t provide a complete and accurate picture of our community. Many entire home listings shared more than 180 nights a year are boutique hotels, traditional corporate housing or guest houses and basement apartments that lack amenities for a long-term tenant. Additionally, this analysis shows that Airbnb listings are a small fraction of the housing market — Airbnb listings shared for more than half the year make up .07% of the housing stock in these cities.”
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