If Airbnb wants to have a real conversation about its impact on New York City, it should start by releasing raw data on all its listings – rather than fighting the City tooth and nail in court to hide its data, then hypocritically questioning the methodology of every study it doesn’t like.
As recently as last month, the City was forced to sue Airbnb after the company refused to comply with a subpoena for records related to a Chelsea building allegedly operating as an illegal Airbnb hotel. It’s the same playbook as when they fought to withhold data from the New York Attorney General and refused to respond to several requests from the New York City Council to release its records.
Airbnb cannot have it both ways. It cannot hide its raw data behind a wall of attorneys, then cry foul when others use what data is available to measure “the Airbnb effect” on the local rental market. In the case of New York City, we found that effect to be an increase in rents for hardworking New Yorkers of some $600 million a year.
It’s time for Airbnb to come clean and share all its data on New York City listings and stop playing the victim, when really the only victims to date have been the millions of New Yorkers who today are paying higher rents because of Airbnb’s business practices.