New York Magazine came out with a terrific long read this week about the current state of the Airbnb vs. Everyone war. It covers the full range of objections to and arguments for the existence of the apartment-sharing website — in a sense, Airbnb has become something of a litmus test for opinions about the New York City housing market as a whole. Ask one person, and the entire situation is about affordable housing, to another it's about the widening wealth disparity, to a third, gentrification, etc. One particularly interesting angle, an argument against Airbnb, is that the success of the short-term rental model is causing landlords to convert regular apartments for that express purpose, diminishing the city's overall housing stock. And, with the number of actual hotel developments growing seemingly by the day, it's not an immediately dismissible concern.
As usual, the essential Fran Lebowitz puts it best. In an interview with Paper Mag last week, she said, "Tourism as a number-one industry is a terrible, terrible idea for any city, especially New York ... Hotels are like anti-housing. To me, they're not only the opposite of housing; they are opposed to housing. They displace housing, and no one ever says this." And, on the subject of Airbnb:
I object to Airbnb. I don't want these people to come here; I frankly do not care where they are staying. Stay home. Sometimes I walk around and go, 'Go home.' Doesn't anyone have a home? I think that at the same moment the country is at one of its high points of concern about migration, it is at a very low concern about tourists, and I would do the opposite. I would like to stand at the border — I would volunteer — and say, 'You can come here, but you have to live here. The problem with Airbnb may be as simple as: Ew, tourists.
· "The Dumbest Person in Your Building Is Passing Out Keys to Your Front Door!" [NY Mag]
· Airbnb coverage [Curbed]