Last year, Boston banned companies like Airbnb from hosting investor units that were holding valuable housing hostage. The city hopes this will relieve pressure from the housing shortage that is driving the median price of a home to $650,400. Investors looking to make money off renting often turn to Airbnb to rent their apartments, houses and other properties that they often never live in themselves. This takes valuable housing off the market, putting pressure on cities experiencing housing shortages and rising home prices. City officials decided it could not afford to let that continue.
Sheila Dillon, Boston’s housing chief and director of neighborhood development, said she expects a flood of apartments will hit the market in December when the city’s ban on investor units being used as short-term rentals goes into effect.
“We’re hoping that the units returning to the market will be in the thousands,” Dillon told the Boston Herald this week.
Boston last year banned the use of investor units for short-term rentals via Airbnb and other websites. In November 2018, Airbnb sued Boston in federal court over what it called “draconian” regulations. The company settled the suit in August by agreeing to add a function to its website that asks hosts to enter a city-issued registration number starting Sept. 1. Hosts that don’t provide the number by Dec. 1 will be blocked.