Stringer airs concerns about Airbnb before Council hearing

Comptroller weighs in for first time, citing public safety and affordable housing issues

Scott Stringer
Scott Stringer

The City Council is set to hear testimony tomorrow on short-term New York City rentals, namely, the divisive Airbnb. And City Comptroller Scott Stringer has chosen this moment to broadcast his position against the website.

“This growing trend [of short-term rentals] poses concerns for the City of New York — in particular, for our affordable housing stock and public safety,” Stringer wrote in his testimony obtained by the New York Daily News.

Sign Up for the undefined Newsletter

Stringer cited a report from Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s office released last October, which found that 2,000 units in the city are being used booked as hotel rooms for six months of the year on short-term rental sites. “These units were effectively removed for practical use in the New York City housing market,” Stringer wrote. “While there are 3.3 million housing units in the City of New York, the fact remains that we need every unit we can get to combat rapidly rising rents.”

In his campaign for City Comptroller, Stringer was endorsed by the Hotel Trades Council. In December, a Manhattan  judge ordered a woman living in a rent-controlled Central Park duplex to immediately remove her apartment from Airbnb. In September, a group of two dozen Airbnb hosts sued to block the disclosure of their personal information. [NYDN] — Tess Hofmann