Jersey City to vote on increased Airbnb regulations

Some residents and lawmakers in Jersey City are asking people to vote yes on restrictions on Airbnb and other short-term rentals, arguing that rent controlled apartments are being turned into short-term rentals and displacing long-term residents.

“In Jersey City we’ve seen an explosions of Airbnb and short term rentals, a 500 percent increase between 2015 and 2019,” said Ward E councilman James Solomon. 

However, Airbnb is saying that the proposed regulations would amount to a ban and that it would stop city residents from making extra income by sharing their homes. So far, it has spent over one million dollars on its “Vote No” campaign. 

“Tenants are banned entirely, if you are a renter, you cannot participate in the short-term rental economy,” said Liz Debold Fusco, Senior Communications Manager for Airbnb. “If you live in a building with four or more units, you cannot participate in the short-term rental economy.”

Under the proposed regulations, homeowners who live on-site will be able to share their homes 365 days a year but those who are not will only be able to rent their homes for 60 days a year. Homeowners will also have to have a $500,000 home insurance policy, be inspected by the city once every three years and be up to code. 

“It’s designed to make it impossible for anyone to share their home and that’s why it’s a ban,” Fusco said.