SAN FRANCISCO – The failure of a controversial ballot measure that aimed to place stricter regulations on short-term housing rentals in San Francisco has Airbnb claiming victory.
Airbnb spent more than $8 million to defeat Proposition F, which would have capped short-term rentals at 75 nights per year, potentially setting a precedent for how other cities handle the emergence of online platforms for short-term residential renting, jeopardizing the tech firm’s revenue.
The Proposition, an effort to stop long-term housing from being taken off the housing market, would also have made it a misdemeanor for Airbnb and other housing rental platforms to unlawfully list a unit as a short-term rental.
Chris Lehane, global head of public policy for Airbnb, and formerly an aide to Bill Clinton and Al Gore, released a statement to Airbnb users in San Francisco following the unofficial election results Tuesday night.
Lehane said, “Proposition F has been defeated. As a result, home sharing will continue in San Francisco. That means middle class families will continue to be able to pay their bills, and you can still help visitors to our hometown experience this great city like locals.”
Airbnb spokesman Christopher Nulty released a presentation today regarding how Airbnb defeated Proposition F and what they plan to do next.
The company stated that the Airbnb community in San Francisco is comprised of 6,000 hosts and over 132,400 guests. Members of the Airbnb community apparently called or knocked on the doors of more than 285,000 San Francisco voters leading up to the election.
Now that Proposition F has been defeated, Airbnb doesn’t plan to sit back and relax. In fact, Airbnb released their plans to build further momentum in favor of short-term rentals by helping the Airbnb community create new advocacy organizations.
Airbnb said that they would provide “the finest grassroots organizing training, tools and support” as well as provide Airbnb users access to Airbnb staff that will provide support via a hotline.
Airbnb said they aim to help Airbnb users establish 100 clubs around the world over the next year to bolster support for short-term rentals.
“We will help them establish these organizations, but clubs will be independent,” an Airbnb post-election presentation states.
Proposition F had less than 45 percent voter approval, according to unofficial election results.
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