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How Williamsburg Airbnb Hosts Are Dealing With the New Law Against Home Sharing

17-airbnb-logo.w245.h368.2x1As you surely know by now if you rent out your apartment through Airbnb—whether you’re a working stiff making a few extra bucks each month to cover your rent or an enterprising bartender making $45,000 a year pimping out your friends’ pads—the jig is just about up. A new state law threatens to push many users out of the short-term rental business, so Bedford + Bowery asked several Airbnb hosts from the home sharing hub of Williamsburg how they plan to deal with the new regulation. Keep Reading »

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Before Cuomo Cracks Down On Apartment Sharing, He Should Read This Site’s Amazing Description of the East Village

Earlier today, the New York State Senate passed a bill that, if signed into law by Governor Cuomo, would make it harder to post illegal short-term rentals listings for apartments. The proposed law builds upon a piece of legislation from 2010 that made it illegal for a landlord to rent out a class-A multi-unit dwelling for less than 30 days. The new law would help with enforcement and act as a deterrent by making listing sites like Airbnb liable for facilitating these regulatory violations.

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Meet Fabrice Grinda, the Minimalist in the $6 Million LES Penthouse

(Photo by Kavitha Surana)

(Photo by Kavitha Surana)

As he rang in 2015, Fabrice Grinda, a 41-year-old tech entrepreneur from France, took stock of his life. He’d been living out of suitcases for the past four years, globetrotting and swinging between upscale hotels and top-notch Airbnbs. He decided it was time to “partially re-materialize.” Not settle down with a white picket fence (horrors!) — nothing drastic — but simply find a simple New York landing pad he could call his own.

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Common Is Bringing Its Grown-Up Dorms to Williamsburg

(Photo by Sophie Wilkinson)

Wiliamsburg Common apartment (Photo by Sophie Wilkinson)

During a recent trip backpacking through Thailand, Kamilah Gray was taken with the experience of meeting new friends at hostels. So, once the 25-year-old got back in New York she Googled “adult dorm” on a whim and found Common.

It’s not exactly a dorm, she says, but it’s definitely a change in lifestyle. Three weeks ago, she moved into one of the start-up’s Crown Heights locations, where she pays $1,540 a month for a small bedroom that comes with a host of perks: a mattress, linens, free laundry and housekeeping, and, above all, a sense of belonging with her 18 new housemates– something that had been hard to achieve during her three years as a New Yorker.

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Bid to Curb Airbnb May Bring Hostels Back to the City

The White House Hotel, now closed on the Bowery (Photo via New York Magazine/ Courtesy of White House Hotel)

The White House Hotel, now closed on the Bowery (Photo via New York Magazine/ Courtesy of White House Hotel)

Travel to almost any international city, from Berlin to Lima, and chances are you can to drop your bags at a cheap hostel filled with bunk beds and Ikea furniture, hassle free. 

Not so in New York City. Even one of the last standouts, the hostel (something of a flophouse, in reality), The Whitehouse Hotel on Bowery, closed “temporarily” last year and has yet to reopen. But a new bill, introduced to City Council by Margaret Chin, could allow hostels to thrive, a prospect that has major implications for how we discuss the battle between Airbnb and critics of “illegal hotels.”

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Tourist Tally: 1 in 3 People On Bedford Avenue Are Not From Around Here

Noora and Nuutti Tiovoneni, from Finland (Jaime Cone)

Noora and Nuutti Tiovoneni, from Finland (Jaime Cone)

With hotels, Airbnbs, and gifty boutiques popping up all over Williamsburg to serve an influx of out-of-towners, one has to wonder: how many people strolling Bedford Avenue at a given time are locals, and how many are tourists? To answer that question, we posted up outside of the Bedford station and polled over 300 passersby. Our findings: 1 in 3 people we spoke to were from outside of New York City (about half of those visitors were Europeans), while just 1 in 4 of them actually lived in Williamsburg. As one of Williamsburg’s many French tourists might say: “Mon dieu!”

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Hoping to Rent Kurt Cobain’s Place? ‘Stay Away’

Cobain's childhood bedroom. (Aberdeen Realty)

Cobain’s childhood bedroom. (Aberdeen Realty)

A couple of months after Vulture noticed Kurt Cobain and Courtney Love’s old Los Angeles apartment on Airbnb, the listing has been taken down. Sorry, Nirvana fans: if you want to sleep like Cobain slept, you’ll have to crawl underneath a bridge and collect drippings from the ceiling.

Actually, that’s not quite true.

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City Council Unveils $2M Plan to Beef Up Enforcement Against Illegal Airbnb Rentals

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In response to complaints that illegal hotels, including Airbnb rentals that violate the law, are worsening New York City’s lack of affordable housing, undermining the city’s hotel market, and causing safety issues in apartment buildings, New York City Council members have announced a comprehensive plan to double the city department responsible for investigating violations.

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Public Advocate Blames AirBNB For Brooklyn's Affordable Housing Crisis

17-airbnb-logo.w245.h368.2xPublic Advocate Letitia James is calling on AirBNB to boot its “illegal hotel kingpins” and blaming the apartment-sharing service for an affordable housing crisis in Bushwick, Greenpoint and other Brooklyn neighborhoods.

Last month, a nationwide survey found that Brooklyn had the least affordable housing of any county in the nation, with 98% of the average family’s wages needed to cover the median home cost. James thinks Airbnb is one of the culprits. “By helping turn a portion of our scarce housing supply into short-term rentals,” she writes in a letter to the company’s co-founder and CEO, “Airbnb and the illegal hotel operators it enables are contributing to the affordable housing crisis.”
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In Parody Video, 'Share Better' Coalition Throws Roaches and Bedbugs in Airbnb's Face

With its fight against the New York Attorney General simmering, a new campaign has been launched to fight Airbnb. is a group of community activists, organizations, elected officials, and others who went public today with an assault on the apartment-sharing service, which they believe is more of a disservice to the community.
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