Scott Stringer talks about Airbnb

Scott Stringer talks about Airbnb, an apartment-sharing website, offers people from New York, who have their own houses or apartments, an opportunity to earn extra money by renting their places on weekend. According to some reports, the business is able to contribute more than $60 million in taxes to the city in 2015. There are some people too who think that website has been encouraging commercial landlords to turn their affordable houses into illegal hotels.

City Council hearing on the short term rentals has been scheduled on Tuesday. Ahead of council hearing, Scott Stringer, the city’s chief fiscal officer, talked about the website and controversy surrounding it. According to Stringer, the growing trend of short-term rentals could raise concerns over the city’s affordable housing stock and public safety.

In a testimony submitted before the City Council, Stringer mentioned about a report from Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s office that was released in October last year. The report showed how many landlords in the city misuse websites like Airbnb and change their affordable houses into hotels.

According to the reports, about 2,000 units posted on Airbnb in 2013 were booked as hotels from about half year. As per Stringer’s testimony, “These units were effectively removed for practical use in the New York City housing market. While there are 3.3 million housing units in the city, the fact remains that we need every unit we can get to combat rapidly rising rents”.

As per the website, it has notified ‘bad actors’. About 2,000 units would be removed from the site, according to Airbnb. Last Friday, the company sent a letter to city and state lawmakers, where it wrote that the company wants help to locate the illegal hotel operators.

Stringer said that the illegal apartments do not have safety measures that legal hotels have. According to him, illegal hotels don’t even have fire safety equipments.