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Protesters Urge Lawmakers to Clamp Down on Airbnb, Short-Term Housing Rentals in L.A.

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Airbnb, the hugely popular home-renting platform, is bringing 7,500 of its hosts and others to Los Angeles for a conference, but labor union members and affordable housing advocates aren’t putting out the welcome mat.

During a rally Wednesday in downtown Los Angeles, hotel workers and community activists called for tougher regulations for short-term rentals to ensure that owners don’t repurpose affordable housing units for listing on Airbnb and other such sites, which the protesters contend shrinks the housing supply and boosts rents.

“It’s not home sharing, it’s home stealing, and it has to stop,” said James Elmendorf, deputy director of Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy, a nonprofit that has advocated for pay hikes for hotel and airport workers.

Ron Fontenot spoke at the rally, saying he was evicted two years ago from the apartment he had rented in the Fairfax area of Los Angeles for 21 years. The apartment building is now home to short-term renters, he said.

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