Group demands changes to proposal to legalize Airbnb in SF
Days before the Board of Supervisors is expected to vote on legislation that would legalize and regulate short-term rentals for online services such as Airbnb, a diverse group of landlords, tenant advocates, hotel workers and former city officials stood outside City Hall on Friday criticizing the proposal and demanding at the very least three main changes.
The group is asking for such things as a 90-day limit on both so-called hosted and non-hosted stays and a provision to allow for a “private right of action” for nonprofits to be able file lawsuits over violations on their own without having to wait for city administrative processes.
The proposal was introduced by Board of Supervisors President David Chiu. It would legalize short-term rentals in multiunit buildings and single-family homes if a host registers with The City, pays a $50 fee every two years and lives in the housing for nine months out of the year. There would be no cap on the number of hosted stays a registered tenant can offer. A landlord would be notified if a tenant registers.
The Board of Supervisors on Tuesday is expected to vote on the legislation, which would change the existing housing laws that ban short-term rentals (those under 30 days). It would be the latest in a number of recent changes to local law to promote the technology industry. Others include switching from a payroll tax to a gross receipts tax, the so-called Twitter tax break for the Mid-Market Street area and a pilot program to allow commuter shuttle buses to use Muni stops.
The groups at the rally included the S.F. Tenants Union, Housing Rights Committee, San Francisco Apartment Association, Unite Here Local 2, West of Twin Peaks Central Council, Tenderloin Housing Clinic, former Supervisor Aaron Peskin; former Planning Commissioner Doug Engmann and former Planning Commissioner Dennis Antenore.
Letter to Board of Supervisors regarding pending legislation