ALERT – Airbnb spending over $500,000 to influence Hawaii legislators.
Airbnb is trying to sneak a bad bill for Hawaii communities through the legislature. SB704 is a “tax-only” bill that Airbnb lobbyist are pushing hard for.
If SB704 passes in its current form, it would permit Airbnb to continue listing illegal short-term vacation rentals on its website, acting as a shield to protect these illegal rentals and their owners from county agencies responsible for enforcing zoning, land use and safety laws.
Our community can defeat the Airbnb special interest and protect our neighborhoods—but we must act now.
If you want to stop the rise of illegal short-term vacation rentals on Hawaii, it’s time to act now. We can’t allow companies like Airbnb to profit from illegal activity that hurts our neighborhoods and takes away much needed rental housing for Hawaii residents. Tell our state legislators, do not vote for an Airbnb tax bill unless there are guarantees that prohibit illegal short-term vacation rental listings from being listed on sites like Airbnb.
How can you help?
We can stop the Airbnb lobbyists from winning if we speak up as one community.
Who are the real Airbnb hosts (and what they don’t want you to know about them)?
If you’ve seen the Airbnb commercials lately, you would think most of its hosts were local families renting a spare room to help with the mortgage payment. The reality is far different.
85% of Airbnb Oahu revenue comes from entire home listings
54% of Airbnb Oahu revenue comes from owners of 2 or more units
64% of Maui vacation rental units owned by non-Hawaii residents.
Almost all of Airbnb Oahu revenue comes from investors, commercial operators and entire-home renters. They include companies like Hawaii Hideaways Inc., a Irvine, California company that has over 15 entire-home luxury home listings on Airbnb Oahu alone. They also include companies like Luxury Retreats, with numerous listings that start at $1,106 per night.
Of particular concern are the entire-home and multi-unit Airbnb listings in buildings ideal for workforce housing rentals. A quick scan of Oahu Airbnb found more than a dozen locations (with dozens more likely) of entire-home rentals that could be available for local renters.
Why is this troubling?
A significant number of the illegal short-term rentals listed on Airbnb are the type that a local family would be able to afford. A quick survey of Airbnb Oahu found dozens of units in condo towers and mid-rise apartment buildings listed on its site as a vacation rental. The average monthly rent for many of these units ranges between $1,200 to $1,700 a month; but the investors who own these units realize they could make the equivalent of a month’s rent in a matter of days on Airbnb.
Hawaii families are heavily dependent on workforce rental housing, that’s increasingly harder to access
40% of Hawaii residents rent a home or condo unit.
Honolulu rents have skyrocketed by 33% over the last decade
Honolulu ranks 99th out of 100 metropolitan areas for affordability
22,202 more rental units needed in Hawaii over the next 10 years.
KNOW THE FACTS
In the News:
|Oahu Surge of Illegal Short-Term Rentals Frustrates Neighbors & Government
The spread of vacation rentals into neighborhoods also is frustrating government officials and lawmakers who
have spent decades trying to ensure zoning laws are upheld and taxes are collected. The quest for a solution
has pitted neighbor against neighbor and challenged politicians, who must answer to divided constituencies.
Governor Ige Says Airbnb Hides Illegal Rentals
Gov. David Ige has vetoed a bill that would allow short-term accommodations brokers, such as Airbnb, to act as tax collection agents for the state,
along with six other measures that he found problematic for various reasons. House Bill 1850, which became known as the “Airbnb bill” because of
the company’s heavy lobbying efforts to get it passed, would have potentially helped the state collect millions in unpaid transient accommodations
taxes. Officials with the Hawaii Department of Taxation supported the bill. However, opponents of the measure argued that the bill would undermine
efforts to crack down on Hawaii’s pervasive illegal vacation rentals.
Illegal Kunia Rentals Spread Online
Several vacation rentals are being advertised at Kunia Loa Ridge Farmlands, with the operators using websites such as Airbnb to solicit customers
interested in staying on property with stunning views of Pearl Harbor and beyond, according to a Honolulu Star-Advertiser review of the websites.
|Vacation Rental Conundrum Money Drives Competition Limits Oahu Housing
A group of BYU-Hawaii students and staff are working with the North Shore community to raise awareness about the illegal use of residential
properties as vacation rental houses. Rebekah Matagi Walker, of the BYUH International Cultural Studies Department, is especially active in
the movement and explained, “At first glance, it’s a way for people to make their mortgage. What’s happening is it takes away residential space
and turns it in to commerce space. It drives up prices of homes within our community because outside investors are willing to pay top dollar for
what they see as a profitable investment.”
Illegal Rentals Skirt Law
Airbnb a Good Thing or Bad
Airbnb Asks City to Hold Off on Crackdown of Illegal Vacation Units
Airbnb Either a Drain or Boon for Hawaii
Airbnb Calls to Collect Taxes from Vacation Rental Owners
Report Indicates Illegal Vacation Rentals Far Outnumber Permitted Ones
Vacation Rentals Hurts Housing Supply
Vacation Rentals Revolving Door Strangers
Vacation Rental Scofflaws Beware
FIND OUT MORE
Other community groups across Hawaii have organized to fight the proliferation of illegal short-term vacation rentals in our
neighborhoods—click these links to learn more.
TELL US YOUR STORIES
People across Hawaii are sharing their stores—from residents evicted from a rental home that converted into an illegal short-term rental, to horror stories
of all night parties and behavior inappropriate for a neighborhood setting.
If you have been negatively affected by an illegal short-term vacation rental, please tell us your story. You are not alone, and together, we can work to
keep our neighborhoods safe and make access to housing for residents and families a top priority.
SIGN UP, STAY INFORMED AND HAVE YOUR VOICE HEARD!
Local lawmakers need to hear from you as they debate short-term rental regulations. Tell your elected officials we’re counting on them to protect property values and to close the “illegal hotel loophole.” Airbnb has the right to exist, but illegal hotel operators should have to play by the same rules as Hawaii's hoteliers.