Airbnb Releases Study Claiming It Hasn’t Worsened Los Angeles Housing Market

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Hope Arnold finishes making the bed in her Silver Lake home. Arnold rents out her bedroom and sometimes her home through Airbnb. (Credit: Anne Cusack / Los Angeles Times)

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In the latest salvo in Los Angeles’ ongoing war over Airbnb, the online rental powerhouse released a new study Tuesday arguing that its rentals have not worsened the housing crunch in the city.

The study, done by Airbnb data analysts in consultation with an assistant professor in the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs, seeks to challenge critics who say it is bleeding L.A. of needed housing. It follows a blistering report by the Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy, which concluded that rentals listed on Airbnb and other online platforms had removed nearly 11,000 units from the L.A. market.

Airbnb has insisted that such claims are inaccurate because they wrongly assume that any whole house or apartment listed on the website is effectively off the housing market for long-term tenants. Its report counters that 80% of its listings for an entire home or unit were rented out for fewer than 90 nights annually.

The Airbnb report also finds that the vacancy rate in Los Angeles has changed little as Airbnb exploded in popularity, “further underscoring that the Airbnb community has no material impact on housing availability in the city of Los Angeles.”

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