The short-term lodging startup Airbnb has bold plans for expansion, and according to Forbes, one of the ways was to build backyard homes that homeowners could rent to guests.
Reports indicate that the plan has already been scrapped. Airbnb expressed doubts about the business model and worried about potential backlash from neighbors and local governments.
The idea could have capitalized on new policies launched in places such as Portland, Ore., which incentivize homeowners for building guest homes that could be rented to homeless people. After five years, the homes could be rented to anyone, and that’s where Airbnb could take advantage of an opportunity.
Airbnb could build or finance construction of such small homes for its own benefit—to build supply. It would be similar in many ways to the programs Uber and Lyft employ to rent or lease vehicles to potential drivers that don't already have a car.