Airbnb got its start during the Great Recession as a way to help our founders pay their rent. More than 15 years since our founding, approximately 1 million people stay in Airbnb listings across the U.S. on any given night and more than 40 percent of Hosts say the income from hosting allows them to stay in their homes. Today, the typical Host shares one home on Airbnb, helping to provide affordable accommodation options for guests, disperse travel to new destinations, and generate billions in economic activity and tax revenue for communities.
Every day, we work with governments to ensure that hosting on Airbnb, and the economic activity created by hosting, make communities stronger. To date, we’ve partnered with over 1,000 governments around the world to support common sense rules for short-term rentals1.
Through this work, we understand cities continue to navigate unique, complex challenges – including housing affordability. Experts agree the chronic, decades-long underproduction of new housing supply is driving today’s housing affordability challenges. 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.
That is why today we are announcing the formation of the Airbnb Housing Council, chaired by Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, former mayor of Baltimore and former President of the U.S. Conference of Mayors. The Council will convene leading independent housing organizations and experts to:
- Advise Airbnb on innovative policies, initiatives, and partnerships it can support to help communities grow the supply of new long-term housing.
- Help the company identify new ways it can work with cities on short-term rental policies to better balance the benefits of home sharing with the needs of communities facing housing affordability challenges.
- Inform Airbnb on housing supply and affordability policy frameworks and research.
“We’ve long partnered with cities to support policies that protect housing and preserve the economic activity that home sharing generates. As communities continue to face significant housing affordability challenges primarily driven by decades of underproduction, we will leverage the expertise of the Airbnb Housing Council to identify new policy ideas and initiatives we can support to help the communities our Hosts and guests call home,” said Jay Carney, Global Head of Policy and Communications at Airbnb.
The Council will build on Airbnb’s recent support of housing organizations and other efforts to drive long-term housing solutions, including:
- A $3 million donation to the San Francisco Foundation to support California efforts to make it easier for communities to approve local affordable housing bond measures that have strict accountability and oversight and expand bond uses to support housing services for residents.
- Support for a successful statewide ballot initiative (Prop 123) in Colorado to permit localities to allocate existing transient occupancy tax dollars to develop new workforce housing.
- More than $1.4 million in donations to national and local housing advocacy organizations since 2022.
“As a former mayor, I know the challenges municipal leaders face in addressing housing challenges in their communities,” said Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, chair of the Airbnb Housing Council. “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. We need all community stakeholders – both the public and private sector – to work together to bolster America’s housing supply. Airbnb is committed to doing its part, and I look forward to working with the company and the members of the Housing Council to guide them in those efforts.”
Joining Stephanie Rawlings-Blake on the Housing Council are many of the leading housing experts and advocates in the U.S., including:
- Honorable Levar Stoney, Mayor of Richmond, VA (on behalf of the U.S. Conference of Mayors)
- Clarence Anthony, CEO and Executive Director, National League of Cities
- Nikitra Bailey, Executive Vice President, National Fair Housing Alliance
- Sara Bronin, Director, National Zoning Atlas
- David Dworkin, President & CEO, National Housing Conference
- Laura Foote, Executive Director, YIMBY Action
- Mike Kingsella, CEO, Up for Growth
- Ben Metcalf, Managing Director, Terner Center for Housing Innovation, UC Berkeley
- Dennis Shea, Executive Director of the J. Ronald Terwilliger Center for Housing Policy, Bipartisan Policy Center
“We will not substantially reduce housing costs without dramatically increasing our housing supply,” said Mike Kingsella, CEO of Up for Growth and founding member of Airbnb’s Housing Council. “I’m grateful that private sector partners like Airbnb are investing in long-term solutions to tackle this issue.”
“Airbnb was a key supporter of the new short-term rental rules we enacted in Richmond last year, which allow hosts to continue generating economic activity for our local small businesses by sharing their homes, while still preserving housing units for our long-term residents,” said Levar Stoney, Mayor of Richmond, Virginia and founding member of Airbnb’s Housing Council. “I look forward to working with the Council to identify unique solutions to housing affordability challenges.”
The launch of the Housing Council is the latest in our efforts to be good partners to communities, and we look forward to sharing more in the months to come.