Opposition mounts against Detroit proposal to limit Airbnb

September 04, 2019, 7:54 AM

A group linked to Airbnb is aiming to raise $25,000 to help thwart a proposed ordinance to regulate short-term rentals in Detroit.

Sharing Detroit has launched a Go Fund Me to cover lobbying and marketing costs to fight the proposal, put forward by Councilmember Janee Ayers with backing from the Duggan administration. As of Wednesday morning, the group had raised more than $6,000 toward its goal.

The fundraiser, first reported by Crain's Detroit Business , comes as Detroit City Council plans to consider limiting the number of short-term rentals in the city in an effort to ensure they don't negatively impact the city's dwindling supply of affordable housing. Airbnb has been blamed for the decimation of low-income neighborhoods in other major cities.

From Crain's:

"It's trying to accomplish the balancing act between supporting an initiative that's part of the sharing economy and helping out folks who may be able to offer out space in their home, while at the same time trying to make sure that housing stock, especially affordable housing stock, is not taken off the market for long-term rentals and for people who will be residents of the city of Detroit," said Rory Bolger, staff for the City Planning Commission, which recommended approval of the ordinance.

But Sharing Detroit says that, as written, the ordinance would kill 90 percent of Airbnb units in the city. Crain's reports the group opposes the following proposed rules:

  • Short-term rental properties must be the owner's primary residence.
  • Rental units must be at least 1,000 feet apart, in a bid to limit them to not more than one per block (the city has discretion to relax this by 10 percent).
  • Rentals cannot host more than 10 guests at once.
  • Units can't be rented out for more than 90 days in a year.

Read more:  Crain's Detroit Business

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