Airbnb is fighting a San Francisco ballot initiative that could inhibit its growth in the area. Proposition F is meant to put limitations on people in affordable housing who are renting out their homes on the Airbnb website.
The proposition was brought forward by advocates of affordable housing who are angered that Airbnb users are renting out the city's housing property to tourists. Proponents of the measure say that residents are getting hit with skyrocketing rents and evictions, while certain individuals in city housing are profiting from the situation.
Airbnb Hired a Top Political Operative to Fight the Measure
Airbnb has invested $8 million and contracted a top political operative to wage war against Proposition F and it looks like the company is winning. An Oct. 25-27 poll predicts that 55 percent of voters in the area will vote against the proposition.
Airbnb's "No on F" campaign has cost the company almost 30 times what supporters have spent to promote the measure. The company spent $2 million on mobilizing 400 volunteers to go and knock on doors in the area.
Airbnb Will Face Problems if Other Cities Adopt Similar Measures
If made into law, Proposition F would prevent short term renters and property leasers from offering their properties for more than 75 nights a year, and it would give neighbors more authority to bring lawsuits against rental property owners.
If the measure passes into law in San Francisco, it will not hurt Airbnb significantly. However, it will become a serious financial problem for the site if the company gets hit with similar measures in other cities.
Airbnb is currently valued at $25.5 billion. Measures like Proposition F would inhibit the company's growth and revenue as it comes close to bringing forward an initial public offering. At this time, there are approximately 5,000 Airbnb locations for rent in San Francisco, as compared to approximately 60,000 locations in Paris, and 20,000 locations in New York.
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