AirbnbWATCH Hawaii

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.

Click Here for Airbnb Special Interest Bill – SB704 SD2 HD2

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?

  • Click here to sign up for information updates and stay informed.
  • Read our website to learn more about the issues and what’s at stake.
  • Contact your state representative and senator and ask them to support HB1471 and vote against SB704.
  • If you have been adversely affected by an illegal short-term vacation rental in your neighborhood and are willing to share your story, click here and tell us your story.

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.

 

Read the CBRE Report on Airbnb Oahu Revenue

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.

 

Data Sources

http://files.hawaii.gov/dbedt/economic/reports/2015-05-housing-demand.pdf

http://www.nbcnews.com/id/44822131/ns/business-real_estate/t/states-highest-lowest-homeownership/#.WOsqLojytEY

http://www.hawaiinewsnow.com/story/34066684/honolulu-ranks-among-least-affordable-cities-for-renters 

 

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.

http://www.staradvertiser.com/2017/03/19/business/oahu-surge-frustrates-neighbors-government/

 

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.

http://www.staradvertiser.com/2016/07/13/hawaii-news/gov-ige-says-airbnb-bill-hides-illegal-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.

http://www.staradvertiser.com/2016/04/24/hawaii-news/illegal-kunia-rentals-spread-online-listings-reveal-vacation-sites-on-land-zoned-for-agribusiness/

 

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.”

https://kealakai.byuh.edu/content/vacation-rental-conundrum-money-drives-competition-limited-housing-oahu

 

Illegal Rentals Skirt Law

http://keepitkailua.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/Star-Advertiser-12-28-14-Illegal-Rentals-Skirt-Law.pdf

 

Airbnb a Good Thing or Bad

http://www.kitv.com/story/34728577/air-bnb-vacation-rentals-a-good-thing-or-bad

 

Airbnb Asks City to Hold Off on Crackdown of Illegal Vacation Units

http://www.kitv.com/story/31309415/abnb-asks-city-to-hold-off-on-crackdown-of-illegal-vacation-uits

 

Airbnb Either a Drain or Boon for Hawaii

http://www.hawaiinewsnow.com/story/34713334/depending-on-who-you-ask-airbnb-is-either-a-drain-or-a-boon-for-hawaii

 

Airbnb Calls to Collect Taxes from Vacation Rental Owners

http://www.hawaiinewsnow.com/story/34631064/airbnb-bill-calls-to-collect-taxes-from-vacation-rental-owners

 

Report Indicates Illegal Vacation Rentals Far Outnumber Permitted Ones

http://www.civilbeat.org/2014/12/report-indicates-illegal-vacation-rentals-far-outnumber-permitted-ones/

 

Vacation Rentals Hurts Housing Supply

http://keepitkailua.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/Star-Advertiser-12-29-14-Vacation-Rentals-Hurts-Housing-Supply.pdf

 

Vacation Rentals Revolving Door Strangers

http://keepitkailua.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/Star-Advertise-12-30-14-Vacation-Rentals-Revolving-door-Strangers.pdf

 

Vacation Rental Scofflaws Beware

http://www.civilbeat.org/2014/12/denby-fawcett-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.

 

Save North Shore Neighborhoods

Keep It Kailua

Stop Illegal Rentals

My Kailua

Aikea Hawaii

Save Oahu Neighborhoods

 

 

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.

 

Click Here to Tell Your Story

 

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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 Portland's hoteliers.

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