Fur is flying nationwide as cities around the country figure out how to deal with the housing arm of the sharing economy – short term rentals, a.k.a. Airbnb. Locally, District 9 Supervisor David Campos has joined lawmakers around the country in signing a letter, Elizabeth-Warren-style, to the Federal Trade Commission asking it to study to what extent Airbnb and other short term rental platforms are enabling illegal hotels.
That’s, of course, while Airbnb and San Francisco are duking it out in court over the city law that requires Airbnb to actually take action to prevent illegal listings (by, you know, not listing them). Very public negotiations seem to be taking place mostly outside of court, though, with Airbnb saying it’s going to stop listing multiple units for the same host and the city threatening to enact a flat 60-day cap.
Meanwhile, a Nashville court recently overturned a measure regulating short term rentals on the basis that the definition of short term rental could be confused with hotels. The couple at the center of that case was baffled when they received a notice that they should pay hotel taxes – funny since in San Francisco, that’s totally part of the deal and, while controversial and difficult for casual Airbnb hosts, not really at the center of what’s being challenged in court.
The continuing concern over rental stock being depleted, of course, is part of the continuing crush of the housing crisis, and several Bay Area cities are looking at rent control as a possible solution – not so popular among landlords, as you can imagine.
What more could renters want? Well, if we had a subway fairy, they’d be busy, because it seems people want subways everywhere. In a crowdsourced map of where the internet denizens of San Francisco want subways, two corridors are standouts: Geary and Van Ness. But what’s this? The Mission, which already has a major BART artery (BARTery?) and several major bus lines, seems to be one of the warmer areas of the heat map, at least where 16th Street and Potrero Avenue are concerned.
Meanwhile, in the world of people who, I would hazard a guess, are not riding the 49 every day, a Giant shoebox-stack of a trophy house has sold for nearly $7 million and a slice of an old church is on the market for over 6 mil.