ICYMI: D.C. Community Leaders Call on The Council of D.C. to Rein In Illegal Hotels

 The AirbnbWATCH coalition organized an event in D.C. on January 23rd with community leaders to speak out on the need to regulate short-term rentals in Washington, D.C. The event received great press coverage, including an article by WTOP, which noted:

“A group of community leaders is pushing the D.C. Council to pass a bill regulating home-sharing services such as Airbnb, saying that the operators make housing in the District more expensive and neighborhoods less safe. Representatives of the group AirbnbWatch and other community members said Tuesday that unregulated short-term rentals of private houses encourage commercial operators to buy entire buildings, and essentially run illegal, unregulated hotels.”  WTOP, January 23, 2018

Read the full article here.


Event participants represented constituents across the city, from an advocate for protecting children, to a single mom who fights for affordable housing in D.C., to a disability rights activist. Graylin Presbury, representing the D.C. Federation of Civic Associations, underscored the importance of action by the Council: “in D.C. we have a housing shortage … and [this is] really forcing people out of the city.”


If you missed the event, please take a moment to watch some of the highlights below – then be sure to click here to learn more about the many reasons why it’s time for the Council of D.C. to take action on the Short-Term Rental Regulation and Affordable Housing Protection Act.


Airbnb hosts “cheat law-abiding, tax-paying D.C. residents and fracture our neighborhoods by replacing our neighbors with an endless revolving door of strangers otherwise known as ‘guests.’  These illegal commercial hotel operations are driving up our rental prices and lowering the availability of affordable housing for hardworking taxpayers that work and live in D.C.” Graylin Presbury, D.C. Federation of Civic Associations

Watch Graylin Presbury’s full remarks here:


“With a revolving door of strangers coming and going from short-term rentals properties, tools like sex offender lists are becoming obsolete as there is no safeguard in place to stop a child predator from renting an Airbnb property next door.” Stacie Rumenap, Stop Child Predators 

Watch Stacie Rumenap’s full remarks here:


“An extremely troubling study by Rutgers University found that Airbnb hosts were far more likely to turn away guests with disabilities in favor of guests without disabilities.  This makes the rise of commercial Airbnb operators in Washington all the more troublesome.” Rebecca “Becky” Ogle, Disability Power & Pride

Watch Becky Ogle’s full remarks here:


“As a single mother living in D.C., being able to provide for and protect my family is my main concern.  It’s disheartening to see my community teeming with commercial operators running illegal hotels out of residential homes and apartments.  Every day, I see more and more strangers coming in and out of what used to be residential units, that were formerly occupied by friendly and familiar faces.” Yukia Hugee, The New Communities Initiative 

Watch Yukia Hugee’s full remarks here:


The remarks above show exactly WHY we are continuing to fight for smart regulations that will protect our families, put neighbors before strangers, and keep housing affordable for hardworking D.C. families.


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