Airbnb Has a New Program to Help Renters Who Want to Host

About 175 buildings across the country are now designated as "Airbnb-friendly"

Screenshots from Airbnb's new "Airbnb-friendly" apartment buildings program
Screenshots from Airbnb's new "Airbnb-friendly" apartment buildings program

Airbnb just announced a partnership with “Airbnb‑friendly apartment buildings” across the U.S. that the company hopes will make it easier for people to rent out their space for short-term stays.

On its website, Airbnb says they do not own or operate these buildings — rather, this is a partnership between Airbnb and building owners. It’s certainly not a program that can cover a lot of cities, due to various Airbnb laws. So Miami, Los Angeles and Denver? Sure. New York? Not likely, ever. At launch, the program covers 175 buildings in about 25 cities.

“We believe cities can help renters better afford where they live by supporting Airbnb-friendly apartments and embracing policies that allow renters to share their space,” Airbnb writes in a press release.

“Airbnb was founded during the Great Recession when Brian and Joe needed help affording their rent, and now Airbnb-friendly apartments build on that founding story by making it easier for people to reap the economic benefits of hosting,” adds Nathan Blecharzyck, Airbnb Co-Founder and Chief Strategy Officer. “As the cost of living continues to rise, renters can use the extra income earned by hosting part-time on Airbnb to contribute to their rent, save for a home, or pay for other living expenses.”

Each building has its own community rules for hosting, including a limit on the number of nights renters can host per year. And all renters are expected to follow local short-term rental rules, building rules and Airbnb’s own community standards. And there will certainly be no parties allowed.

While the company touts the program’s financial benefits (they estimate an extra $900 per month for people in these buildings) and general support of the population (in a recent survey, three-quarters of U.S. adults support allowing renters to share their apartments on a short-term basis), we do see one drawback — as The Hustle notes, “While the program could help renters earn some extra cash, it’s also possible that property owners could be incentivized to charge more for rent in the first place — because the renters can just ‘make it back.’” Building owners apparently take a revenue share of between 20-25% of a host’s booking amount, but it’s not hard to see rent increases due to this arrangement.


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