The Real Deal New York

City Council members urge Clintons to drop Airbnb partnership

Family's foundation to team with startup to provide accommodation for AmeriCorps volunteers
September 25, 2014 03:50PM

City Council is calling on the Clinton Global Initiative to cut ties with the controversial short-term rental startup Airbnb.

The Clinton Foundation had announced a partnership with Airbnb in which the startup would provide accommodations to AmeriCorps volunteers during the nonprofit’s annual global meeting in Midtown.

But in a letter to the foundation’s CEO Eric Braverman, the Council members argued that Airbnb is “the leading operator in the illegal hotel industry that is exacerbating the affordable-housing crisis in New York City.”

“We believe in the Clinton Foundation’s guiding principle that ‘we’re all in this together,’ ” they wrote. “But it appears Airbnb does not subscribe to this principle, as it is content to flout our laws, put tenants at significant risk, and deal a serious blow to our efforts to make this city more affordable for working New Yorkers.”

The letter was signed by Council members Helen Rosenthal, Daniel Garodnick, Corey Johnson, Ben Kallos, Rosie Mendez, Brad Lander, Mark Levine, Antonio Reynoso and Ritchie Torres. [Crain’s]Christopher Cameron