A group of civic leaders are proposing a new initiative that would severely limit Airbnb’s business in San Francisco.
The initiative, proposed by a group of housing activists and a former planning commissioner, calls to restrict people from renting their rooms through sites like Airbnb, VRBO, and other sites, The San Francisco Chronicle reports. If it goes through, the initiative would only allow temporary rentals in neighborhoods with commercial zoning.
“The short-term rental market is exploding and cries out for some sort of regulation,” housing activist Calvin Welch told The Chronicle. “People are stunned to find out that a house on their block is now a hotel.”
The proposal would also financially reward people who sue Airbnb hosts whom are illegally renting out their homes or apartments. Those who report illegal home shares would receive up to 30% of the fine and back taxes. Though, that idea is reportedly still in flux.
The group is still seeking money and endorsements, and will need to gather 9,700 signatures by July 7 in order to place the initiative on the ballot.
This initiative is just the latest in the ongoing saga of Airbnb’s legality in cities like San Francisco and New York.
Earlier this month, an Airbnb host started a petition challenging San Francisco lawmakers to change the law so that it protects people who share their homes. That came after some San Francisco residents reported receiving eviction notices for renting out rooms on Airbnb.
Also this month, New York General Attorney Eric Schneiderman subpoenaed Airbnb to give up records of its hosts. Airbnb complied and removed thousands of “illegal listings.”
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