Airbnb in Bed-Stuy - epitome of exploiting gentrification?

Discussion in 'New York/US' started by Lord Camomile, Dec 6, 2016.

  1. Lord Camomile

    Lord Camomile Lemonade socialist

    My mate has invited me on a trip to NY next Feb, 7 of us going and I only know my mate and his fiance.

    They all want to book an Airbnb in Bed-Stuy, but the idea makes me quite uncomfortable because of the dual implications of both the issues surrounding how Airbnb has impacted the housing market (although we're going to Airbnb, either in Bed-Stuy or somewhere else) and Bed-Stuy's ongoing history of gentrification.

    Am I being needlessly sensitive? Is this a battle worth fighting or is 10 days holiday not really going to do much to perpetuate the wider societal issue?

  2. not-bono-ever

    not-bono-ever Not what they want but what is good for them

    Interesting one I have been wrestling with as well - will be in NY in the summer with the kids- Hotel prices are outrageous - so lookingant rental.Loads in brooklyn . I lived just up the road from there when I left Uni and would like to go back, but the shadow of gentrification and AirBNB generally does not sit easily.
  3. Miss Caphat

    Miss Caphat I want it that way

    I think a lot of the anti-airbnb stuff is unfair. you have to realize a lot of the negative slant it is in the interest of municipalities wanting to collect tax from visitors. which they could easily do, but most don't want to do the work involved in collecting it, or put in place new systems to do so.

    I have used airbnb many times, and I'm planning on doing my own rental (so I have my own interests here, full disclosure) and I have encountered very few listings, worldwide, that were the sort of ones which get hyped up by the media (i.e. run by developers with multiple listings, buying up all the property and pushing renters out) Most are by people who happen to own property and rent it out when they're not there, or who have a small apartment attached to their property, or who have a second property/vacation home. Most listers put a LOT of effort into maintaining their own property and their own listings, and to providing services to their customers. The notion of absent landlords just letting any random person come in and be disruptive / destructive is also largely false ime/imo. Listers have just as much at stake and are very careful about screening renters and laying down ground rules with a loss of deposit as insurance against such behavior.

    And while this is something I'm still researching and mulling over, one thing to note is that the slight increase in rental costs in a particular area can be/ often is offset by an increase in tourist dollars, industries that crop up as offshoots to the airbnb business, and especially the fact that residents are often the recipients of the revenue themselves.

    While I understand that some larger cities like NYC or London with a scarcity of rental properties wanting to curb unchecked private short-term listings, I don't think gentrification or rent-gouging is such an issue here as it's made out to be, especially in smaller cities and tourist destinations.

    I guess what I'm saying is that while it makes sense to question using airbnb in these cities, I don't think it makes sense to write airbnb off as a gentrification-creating, neighborhood disrupting threat in most places.
  4. Lord Camomile

    Lord Camomile Lemonade socialist

    Thanks for the considered response, it's I interesting to hear it from the other side.

    I will reply more when I don't have to be awake again in less than 6 hours, but I just wanted to say that in this instance it was specifically about the area, Bed-Stuy. There are issues with Airbnb that I haven't fully got to grips with, but as I say at this point I'm committed to staying in an Airbnb somewhere in the city, I just happened to know the history of the area and could guess that the hosts are almost certainly symptomatic of that history, Airbnb or not.

    To be continued...
    Miss Caphat likes this.
  5. twentythreedom

    twentythreedom Patterdale Terrorist

    Fuck it (on this occasion) - go, enjoy it, then give them a really bad review. Fucking gentrifiers :mad:
    pengaleng and Pickman's model like this.
  6. Gromit

    Gromit International Man of Misery

  7. t0bytoo

    t0bytoo Well-Known Member

    I spent a couple of months in an air bnb place in Bed Stuy a while ago. It was basically the attic room of a family house.
    A few years earlier I would have found the place on craigslist. This time it was airbnb. It could just as easily have been short-term-lodging-dot-com or some other listing website.

    For me, that's what airbnb is good for - finding someone who rents short-term rooms.

    The other side of the coin: Accomodation that only ever gets rented out to visitors at short-term / by the night prices. Well, that's a whole different thing and it's screwing up communities around the world.

    Miss Caphat said: "I don't think gentrification or rent-gouging is such an issue here as it's made out to be, especially in smaller cities and tourist destinations. "

    I strongly disagree with this. I frequent an area in Mexico where the boom in airbnb "opportunities" has created a bubble of short term vacation rentals, and the price of long-term accomodation has more than doubled in the last few years
  8. Monkeygrinder's Organ

    Monkeygrinder's Organ Dodgy geezer swilling vapid lager

    The thing is that while it totally makes sense to look at all that stuff, and it is all relevant to the impact airbnb might have, none of it makes it non-gentrifying. Essentially anything that puts upwards pressure on property prices is likely to have a gentrifying effect and airbnb clearly does do that - people maintaining their properties well or screening the people who stay there doesn't really effect that.
  9. bi0boy

    bi0boy Power User

    Just don't go into any neighbourhood unless you're poorer than the people who live there. :facepalm:
  10. Dan U

    Dan U Boompty

    going next Sept for my wifes 40th, never considered AirBNB before but looking at the cost of a hotel over 4 nights is making me do so!
  11. Lord Camomile

    Lord Camomile Lemonade socialist

    This is the trouble, it is a lot cheaper (and nicer, IMHO), but pretty much everywhere we can afford we can do so because of the gentrification - perversely the same thing that's driving up property prices in general makes it more affordable to Airbnb there.

    I've been looking around and, basically, it's a city-wide problem. Bed-Stuy isn't even the worst affected, with rental prices in some areas going up 60+% :eek: :(
  12. not-bono-ever

    not-bono-ever Not what they want but what is good for them

    Much of europe ( well, some of it anyway) is kicking off over Air BNB - Amsterdam, Berlin and Barca locals seem to be utterly seething aboutn the disruption and shit that goes with an explosion of airbnb
  13. Lord Camomile

    Lord Camomile Lemonade socialist

    Beyond the very real consequences for many people's lives, it's frustrating because it's yet another idea that should just be really useful and handy, but goes on to get exploited and cause major social damage.
  14. Yossarian

    Yossarian free shrugs

    Is it possible to find out what kind of AirBnB renter you're dealing with - whether it's somebody genuinely renting out a spare room for some extra cash, or whether it's just another greedy asshole landlord who's turfed people out of their homes because he can make more money on AirBnB?
  15. t0bytoo

    t0bytoo Well-Known Member

    I think it's pretty hard to tell who you are dealing with. A couple of years ago, my girlfriend rented out her flat for a few months via an "airbnb management company". They made a profile page with her name and photo, and managed all the bookings. Essentially, adopting her persona. The profile looked "slick" and the flat was always rented.

    I'm hopeful that the "airbnb management company" will take a kicking when the 90 day rule is enforced. But, like most "rules" these days, there are plenty of ways around it. e.g. after 90 days of rentals, the landlord opens a new account and carries on.

    Given that airbnb is full of people "impersonating" other people, I don't see any scope for them to effectively track who is renting what. So in answer to your question, you can only guess at who you are dealing with.
  16. baldrick

    baldrick ooooh timewarp

    If you're committed to staying at an airbnb, then saying you don't want to stay at *these* ones for *reasons* is pointless IMO.

    It's no worse than paying for a hotel that's probably part of a chain, pays workers minimum wage, and was probably itself a cause of gentrification somewhere back in the day.

    If you're looking for reasons not to go then fair enough.
    salem and Fez909 like this.

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