[Credit: Airbnb]

Airbnb creates Housing Council to address US housing challenges

US: Airbnb has announced that it has formed an Airbnb Housing Council in order to find “sensible, long-term” solutions to help increase housing supply in the United States and work with cities to balance the benefits of home sharing with communities’ needs.

Chaired by Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, former Mayor of Baltimore and former president of the US Conference of Mayors, the Housing Council will convene leading independent housing organisations and experts to:

  • “Advise Airbnb on innovative policies, initiatives, and partnerships it can support to help communities grow the supply of new long-term housing.
  • “Help the company identify new ways it can work with cities on short-term rental policies to better balance the benefits of home sharing with the needs of communities facing housing affordability challenges.
  • “Inform Airbnb on housing supply and affordability policy frameworks and research.”

Airbnb said that it understood how cities are continuing to navigate challenges including housing affordability and that “chronic, decades-long underproduction of new housing supply” is still driving these challenges today.

Jay Carney, global head of policy and communications at Airbnb, said: “We’ve long partnered with cities to support policies that protect housing and preserve the economic activity that home sharing generates. As communities continue to face significant housing affordability challenges primarily driven by decades of underproduction, we will leverage the expertise of the Airbnb Housing Council to identify new policy ideas and initiatives we can support to help the communities our hosts and guests call home.”

Airbnb has previously provided support to housing organisations in their bid to drive long-term housing solutions, including donating $3 million to the San Francisco Foundation, supporting a state-wide ballot initiative in Colorado to develop new workforce housing, and allocating more than $1.4 million in donations to national and local housing advocacy organisations in the United States since 2022.

Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, chair of the Airbnb Housing Council, said: “As a former Mayor, I know the challenges municipal leaders face in addressing housing challenges in their communities. There are no shortcuts or simple solutions to this crisis – it was many years in the making and will take a coordinated, long-term effort to address.

“We need all community stakeholders – both the public and private sector – to work together to bolster America’s housing supply. Airbnb is committed to doing its part, and I look forward to working with the company and the members of the Housing Council to guide them in those efforts.”

Joining Rawlings-Blake on the Housing Council are:

  • Honorable Levar Stoney, Mayor of Richmond, Virginia [on behalf of the US Conference of Mayors]
  • Clarence Anthony, CEO and executive director, National League of Cities
  • Nikitra Bailey, executive vice president, National Fair Housing Alliance
  • Sara Bronin, director, National Zoning Atlas
  • David Dworkin, president and CEO, National Housing Conference
  • Laura Foote, executive director, YIMBY Action
  • Mike Kingsella, CEO, Up for Growth
  • Ben Metcalf, managing director, Terner Center for Housing Innovation, UC Berkeley
  • Dennis Shea, executive director of the J. Ronald Terwilliger Center for Housing Policy, Bipartisan Policy Center

Airbnb revealed that it would be announcing more details about the Housing Council in the coming months.

The Housing Council has been created at a time when governments at national and local levels in the United States [and globally] are introducing more stringent regulations to restrict short-term rental activity, including zoning permits, registration schemes and bans.

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