Airbnb Rentals Causing Housing Crisis In San Francisco

No wonder renters can’t find an affordable place to live in San Francisco — almost a quarter of the available apartments have been turned into Airbnb’s.

A new report the city of San Francisco released Thursday shows Airbnb rentals are reducing the number of available housing units by almost 25 percent, making it harder for renters to find homes.

That’s bad news for a city with such high housing costs and low numbers of available apartments.

City Supervisor David Campos said he was shocked and disturbed by how many units were being taken off the market by Airbnb.

“The report demonstrates that we cannot adequately address the housing crisis without addressing short term rentals. The Mission is a community in crisis, and this practice is exacerbating an already terrible situation.”

San Francisco is in the middle of an identity crisis, fueled by a housing crisis and increased gentrification.

Highly paid tech workers from Google, Twitter, and other startups have flooded into San Francisco and driven housing prices through the roof.

The average cost for an apartment home in San Francisco jumped 15 percent last year to $3,129 a month, but can be much higher, according to KRON 4. In the popular Castro district, monthly rents are as high as $5,000 a month.

Airbnb causes housing crisis
SAN FRANCISCO - DECEMBER 30: Real estate agent Brad Smith (R) talks with potential home buyers as they look at a newly constructed condominium December 30, 2008 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

The high housing costs have driven many residents out of homes they’ve lived in for years and entire neighborhoods have changed their character as real estate developers buy up complex after complex and kick residents out.

Some San Francisco City Supervisors have had enough and have started to take action. Campos introduced a bill last week to halt all construction on market rate housing projects, according to the Inquisitr.


That means no one is building anything unless it’s rent controlled.

Meanwhile, Supervisor Jane Kim introduced legislation to halt the growing number of evictions. San Francisco evictions have increased by more than 50 percent in the last five years.

The effect of Airbnb rentals on the Mission, Haight, Ashbury, and Castro districts are particularly bad, according to the study. Almost 40 percent of units in the Mission have been converted to Airbnbs.

Airbnb takes apartments off the market in area where evictions are highest, making the housing crisis worse, San Francisco Housing Rights Committee Executive Director Sara Short said in a press release.

“Renters in this city need homes, not hotels. Tenants face a double whammy by the Airbnb threat. They may lose their homes because landlords want to do tourist rentals instead of long-term rentals, and then they will be hard pressed to find a vacant unit because so many units are taken up by Airbnbs.”

[Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images]