Punishing the Producers
BY JUSTIN OWEN
Homesharing is all the rage in Nashville, with thousands of local residents now actively helping alleviate the city’s well-documented hotel shortage by opening up their homes. Nashville homeowners are turning to services like Airbnb and VRBO to rent their homes, so that those coming to our city have a place to stay without paying the highest hotel rates in the country.
A new study conducted on behalf of HomeAway shows just how beneficial homesharing is for our city, including:
- Generating more than $477 million in economic impact through direct spending and indirect benefits;
- Provided $152 million in wages and benefits; and
- Produced 5,407 permanent jobs, including numerous supply chain businesses such as housecleaning and property management.
One would think that with all the job creation and economic impact, our city’s leaders would welcome homesharing with open arms. One would be wrong.
At a recent hearing, Metro Council members lined up to parrot the hotel industry’s talking points against homesharing. A few Council members have called for a moratorium to prevent new homeowners from renting out their homes short-term if they don’t live in the home full time. But that too appears to be a smokescreen, as other city leaders are now calling on banning some people from participating in the homesharing economy outright.
Rather than focus on sensible homesharing regulations to protect neighbors from loud noise, trash, or nuisances, the Council is barreling towards a cliff.
When Metro began heavily regulating homesharing in 2015, we warned that the entire camel would soon be under the tent. The day is fast approaching that the hotel industry convinces enough Metro Council members that homesharing should not exist at all. (Ironically, as hotel industry representatives waive one hand at the Council to ban homesharing, they hold out their other hand for taxpayer money to build more hotels for tourists who have nowhere to stay.)
Rather than focus on sensible homesharing regulations to protect neighbors from loud noise, trash, or nuisances, the Council is barreling towards a cliff. It’s time state leaders step in and prevent Nashville from driving homesharing—and all the economic benefits that go with it—over the edge.