Things just got tougher for Airbnb in the startup's home town. And the company says it is considering "all options" to change that.
The San Francisco Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday to require short-term rental websites to post listings only for rentals listed by residents registered with the city, according to the San Francisco Examiner.
Supervisor David Campos, who proposed the legislation, said the ordinance added "corporate responsibility" to the law and would aid in protecting the city's housing stock.
"It is not about changing the current law, it's simply about enforcing that current law," Campos was quoted as saying about the ordinance, which passed by a vote of 10-0 with one board member abstaining.
Airbnb responded in a statement that it believed the ordinance would hurt renters more than it would help them.
"An estimated 1,200 San Franciscans avoided foreclosure or eviction by hosting on Airbnb, and this legally-questionable proposal puts their housing at risk without offering any real solutions to fix the complex process," the company said in a statement.
Homeowners indeed have been known to use Airbnb to bring in extra income and stave off foreclosure. But activists in San Francisco have claimed the app reduces housing stock in a city known already suffering from a severe scarcity. The San Francisco Chronicle reported in 2015 that "350 entire homes listed on Airbnb appear to be full-time vacation rentals."
The startup's statement also said the registration system was "broken." Airbnb said in a petition against the newly passed ordinance, "Though intended to help the City enforce short term rental laws, the new proposal does nothing to streamline the complicated registration process or simplify the rules for hosts trying to comply."
"We hope the Board will act to fix this broken registration system, and we are considering all options to stand up for our community and keep fighting for real reform," Airbnb said in its statement.