Right Hooks

Unions vs. Airbnb

Democrat leaders team up with unions against Airbnb.

Culture Beat · Oct. 24, 2016

It’s not news that housing in New York City is expensive. The average New Yorker spends nearly two-thirds of their income on housing, in part because of the supply and demand, but in larger measure because of regulation. New York City has some of the highest construction costs in the nation, and an astounding 56% of new construction cost is due to taxes and regulations. Nearly 40% of Manhattan’s current buildings would not exist if they were built under the city’s regulation standards of today.

Thus, many NYC dwellers have taken advantage of short-term rental services like Airbnb to recoup some of their housing costs. The problem is that the unions don’t like it. The New York Hotel and Motel Trade Council, AFL-CIO, see the threat of revenue loss from these non-union start-up businesses, so they turned to their buddies in government. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has made a point to blame the high cost of housing not on the over-regulating and over-taxing city government but on Airbnb for setting up “illegal hotels,” which city officials claim is limiting the supply of affordable housing. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has lent his hand to fighting against Airbnb, as he recently signed yet another piece of legislation designed to further hinder its business by making it a crime to run advertisements for the “illegal” service of private short-term rentals. Democrats only like solutions to problems that further the growth of government power, even when those “solutions” are the reason for the problem in the first place.

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