Regarding the Voice “Online BnBs Thrive,” the writer’s altruism is a joke. She actively participates in the housing crisis while locals who work in the area can’t afford to survive. She is one of many who have taken a perfectly good house off the market for renters and homeowners for personal profit. Such owners don’t share the community with tourists as an act of altruistic standards. They do it for personal profit, period. There are plenty of hotels that people can stay in and that people should be staying in instead of using residences for tourists. Plus, we all know the mudslides hurt State Street tourism. So who is she kidding with this favoring tourists claim?
The entire state of California should get rid of tax loopholes and should raise taxes to suffocate the AirBnb market that allow properties to stay unoccupied or open for tourists that are intended to serve families and workers. I hope that all those who profess that short-term rentals are good for the economy someday wear the shoes of those they deny affordable housing to. Until they feel it, they will stay in a preposterous bubble.
My grandmother lived in Santa Barbara for years. I visit frequently from Ventura, where our schools have had declining enrollment for years because investors have taken over the rental market, spiked rents, kept housing off the market to live in. Families can’t afford to live here, and couples can’t afford to have kids. To try to wear it like a badge of honor is a joke, a shame, an indignity to humanity, especially in this cold and wet weather.
This depletion of access to housing for renters is also one of the main contributors for the racket called tax credit housing, falsely deflated vacancy rates, and more. Property rights should take a back seat to homelessness and the affordable housing crisis.