Airbnb unveils expert council to seek housing supply solutions

Airbnb Wednesday announced it has formed its own housing council in an effort to help seek long-term housing supply solutions.

“Experts agree the chronic, decades-long underproduction of new housing supply is driving today’s housing affordability challenges,” Airbnb said in its release.

The company continued: “We want to play a role in finding sensible, long-term solutions to help increase the housing supply and work with cities to balance the benefits of home sharing with communities’ needs.”

The company says the council is part of its commitment to ensuring that economic activity created by hosting on Airbnb strengthens communities.

The Airbnb Housing Council is set to be chaired by Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, former mayor of Baltimore and former president of the United States Conference of Mayors.

Rawlings-Blake said she believes Airbnb is doing its part to help address challenges in housing supply and added she looks forward to working with the company and the council to address related issues.

“As a former mayor, I know the challenges municipal leaders face in addressing housing challenges in their communities,” said Rawlings-Blake. “There are no shortcuts or simple solutions to this crisis — it was many years in the making and will take a coordinated, long-term effort to address.”

The council will gather “leading independent housing organizations and experts” to advise the home rental company on policies, initiatives and partnerships that Airbnb might support to lend a hand to communities as they grow long-term housing options; help to identify new ways to work with cities on short-term rental policies; and inform the company on research on housing supply and affordability policy frameworks.

Jay Carney, global head of policy and communications at Airbnb, said the company will leverage the council’s expertise to help identify new policy ideas and initiatives to support host and guest communities.

“We’ve long partnered with cities to support policies that protect housing and preserve the economic activity that home sharing generates,” Carney said.

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