The Los Angeles Times examines how Airbnb’s short-term rentals are impacting longtime residents in Venice, where long-term rental housing is tight. Such conversions from long-term housing to short-term need city permits, but the paper says that’s not happening, dubbing it Venice’s “Airbnb problem.”
The L.A. Tenants Union recently called for tourist boycott over City Hall’s inaction on Airbnb-related impacts on housing.
The L.A. Times article notes:
“But unlike other tourist spots — say Disneyland or Universal CityWalk — Venice is still primarily a residential neighborhood. Because of that, Venice has become an epicenter of Los Angeles’ struggle over short-term rentals, what you might call the Airbnb Problem…
“To get a sense of it, I took what some local housing activists have dubbed a “Lost Housing” tour of Venice on Saturday afternoon. Over the course of four hours, I visited half a dozen buildings on or very close to the Boardwalk that have been converted, without permits, from long-term rental apartments to short-term rentals, or — yes — let’s call them what they really are: hotels.
“If you are wondering why the rental housing market in a place like Venice Beach is so tight, look no further than your nearest laptop. Fire it up and find dozens of websites advertising hotels and houses “just steps from the sand.
“These places, by the way, are not extra rooms, guest houses or homes offered by the owners who want to cover part of their summer trip to France. They are apartment houses and entire homes that have been converted to short-term rentals by displacing long-term tenants.
“InsideAirbnb is a website that tracks how Airbnb impacts city rental stock. It estimates that at least 76% of Airbnb rentals in Venice (or 1,582 out of 2,085 listings) are entire homes or apartments, which means, essentially, that those units have been removed from the rental market at a moment when the city’s housing shortage is Topic A on the lips of every politician.”
Photo by Sylvain Leprovost/Creative Commons