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Airbnb scores victory, as Prop. F fails

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(Courtesy photo)
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Home-sharing in San Francisco will not face stricter regulations, at least in the near future.

In a major victory for home-sharing companies like Airbnb, Proposition F, which would have capped nightly stays at 75 per year and allowed The City to fine Airbnb and other hosting websites for listing unregistered rentals, appears to have lost. Roughly 55 percent of voters said no to the measure, compared to 45 percent who supported it.

“I feel really good that the voters of San Francisco recognized that it wasn’t what it was purported to be,” said No on F’s Campaign Manager Patrick Hannan, who called Prop. F a “fairytale.”

Assemblyman David Chiu, D-San Francisco, also thanked those who voted to not support the measure. “Because of you we won’t have neighbors spying on other neighbors,” Chiu told more than a hundred revelers at No on F’s election party inside South of Market’s Oasis nightclub. “City government will have millions of more dollars because of you.”

San Francisco already regulates short-term rentals, but Prop. F supporters noted the current law lacks registration. Proponents also said the measure would have restored thousands of rental units to the market amid The City’s drastic housing crisis.

The defeat of Prop. F is a significant win for short-term rental companies like Airbnb, which spent millions of dollars in recent weeks and months to dissuade voters from supporting the proposition.

Those against the measure had argued it was too extreme and would hurt neighborhood merchants, who are said to benefit from expanding tourism.

Middle-income residents who rent an extra room to help make ends meet also would have been impacted by the passage of Prop. F, according to opponents.

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