"I am glad to see Intro. 981-A passed by the New York City Council this afternoon. I commend Council Member Rivera for her stewardship and my colleagues for their support of this legislation, and urge the Mayor to promptly sign it into law.
Intro 981-A will provide vital transparency in an industry that includes bad actors like Airbnb, who have hid behind low-level users of their platform, often individuals of more color, to prop up their company's indefensible practices. They have consistently acted in bad faith and in unscrupulous ways, both throughout the process of moving this legislation and in their current operations in New York City. Airbnb has exacerbated the affordable housing and homelessness crisis we face, while skirting regulations intended to protect tenants and preserve affordable units.
They were the most disrespectful entity I've seen come before the City Council, and flatly refused to accept any housing laws as legitimate.
To be clear, if Airbnb truly cared about these homeowners, they would work with the Council to root out the most egregious actors. They have not.
At the same time, they are not the only entity who has failed in this area. While I applaud many of the actions of the Office of Special Enforcement in taking on illegal hotels, the current administration has also been disappointingly misleading in their characterization of how policies are being enforced.
By putting those operating in good faith in the same category as those who
take advantage of the system, increasing their own profits by robbing the city of affordable housing opportunities, the administration fails to make a vital distinction in its prioritization for enforcement. This distinction was pivotal in funding from the Council, with city government telling one and two family homeowners that they were not a focus and should continue using the platform. In essence, it appears that that elements of the city government deceived these homeowners. This is disgraceful and must be corrected.
It it my sincere hope that moving forward, the administration works with the Council to ensure that honest and hardworking New Yorkers trying to make ends meet are protected in our fight against the kinds of unscrupulous actors, like AirBnb, who chase profit at the expense of people who are struggling."