Airbnb Provides Data Ahead of Pivotal Public Hearing

Months of heated back and forth will come to a head tomorrow, December 8, as elected city officials decide whether to advance its long path toward the creation of a new law regulating home-sharing, that burgeoning worldwide cottage industry enriching on-site homeowners who rent out one or more extra bedrooms to out-of-town visitors. 

Ahead of the public meeting, Airbnb, the world’s largest online bulletin board that connects homeowners to potential renters, has provided a snapshot of what its calling the “Airbnb community in the city of Santa Barbara,” according to the report. “We are 100 percent committed to being constructive partners with regulatory agencies and policymakers,” it states.

While the report does not provide the total number of listings, it does cite that Airbnb has worked with 770 hosts in Santa Barbara over the past year, and the average earning for a typical host was $9,600 annually, with hosts booking about 29 nights per year. Guest groups were typically 2.4 persons, staying an average of 2.6 nights.

Sixty-five percent of active Airbnb listings in the city are for an entire home or apartment (reportedly 1.4 percent of the total housing stock citywide), while 34 percent of the listings offer a private room in an otherwise occupied home or apartment.

In their report ahead of Tuesday afternoon’s meeting, staffers with Santa Barbara’s planning division recommend that councilmembers vote against moving forward with a home sharing ordinance, citing “tremendous burden on … neighborhoods” and difficulty in monitoring and enforcement.

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