Deeply Disturbing Story. But What Might it Pose for STRs in Major Cities?

I hesitate to share this sad and disturbing story on the forum because the LEAST, the very LEAST of its implications are what it might mean to owners of short-term rentals in cities.

Yet, in my opinion, the implications are clear for more STR regulation in major U.S. cities I say ‘U.S.’ but Vancouver is also mentioned – is it possible that this is not just a U.S. story?).

This dystopian yet true story relates, as a BTW, that in Phoenix rents rose 80% in the pandemic, and we all know that short-term rentals are in part (I would think but do not know it a very small part but when blame is apportioned they’re easy pickings (I myself would for very sure start elsewhere) blamed for that (if stories were more precise it would be not home-share hosts but the – what do we call them? – those who have many multiple STRs). [Note: This story does not mention, no less blame STRs.]

Anyway, here it is. Sorry, U.S. members, if this soils your weekend. It did mine.

Is it wrong for me to wonder ‘Where is the GoFundMe for the sandwich store?’ Of course, I wonder more about the embedded structure of U.S. laws. And my heart is not AT ALL limited to the store owners but it’s seems easiest to help these good people.

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I lived in Seattle and the area for 40 years. I left about 8 years ago and have followed some of the disaster with homeless encampments in the city. Encampments get taken down then they pop up somewhere else. People were camping on downtown streets in tents and living in cars/RV’s on the streets.

It’s a huge problem in some places and Seattle is not an affordable place to live even though a lot of tiny houses have been built, but they’re supposed to be temporary.
I don’t have the answer, but know it’s not just affordable housing, but lack of care for addiction and mental illness.

I know we’re living in a new reality that is not acceptable.


Want to start solving homelessness, poverty, and mental illness? Reminder to not vote for the party that does not want to help the homeless, help the addicted. Reminder to not vote for the party that criminalized pot smoking, that wants control women’s bodies, and wants to ‘ease up’ regulations for big business while making small businesses like ours the ‘bad guys’…


And might I add an '!" to what you said.

Barney Frank said that for some life begins at conception and ends at birth.

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Deeply concerning.
I worked in Social Housing for 22 years.
It isn’t just the accommodation that is desperately needed, it is all the other services and infrastructure needed.
In my regional there is no public transport after 5 pm on weekdays and nothing on the weekend. There is very limited mental health and other specialists services. The rents are high and limited public housing. The public housing that is available is concentrated in one area and that is a long way from shops and the government services are even further away.
The concentration puts a lots of issues very close together and creates further social problems……somewhere to live is just the start, because I feel that some people are just set up to fail.


Well, that’s 28 minutes of my life I’ll never get back. Shaking my head wtf this has to do with my AirBnB, but I have to admit, I couldn’t finish the article. Sad situation for the business owner, but again, what has this to do with me? Could be my bad, not having the patience to finish the article.

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“Go fund me for the sandwich store”???

The guy doesn’t need money, he needs to be able to run what was a viable business without a homeless encampment next door.

I also don’t see what this has to do with strs. Regulating strs isn’t going to solve the homeless problem. These people have far more problems than not being able to find somewhere to live.


The government can solve this, they just do not have the political will. Tax the rich. Tax their assets not just income, tax it all.



… and of course TAX THE CHURCHES.


Sorry that this was a waste of time for you.

I posted this because I wonder if some people or politicians will think, mistakenly in my view, that one thing to do would be to regulate STRs to reduce homelessness.

The article mentions that rents in Phoenix have increased 80% since the pandemic, implying that as at least a factor in homelessness. STRs are often cited as a factor in increasing rents because they reduce the supply of long-term rental properties.

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I stayed in a downtown Phoenix Airbnb twice. Most recently the home across the street has become somewhat of a homeless encampment and a woman was sleeping on the sidewalk outside my host’s wall right where he asks guests to park. I’m sure the issue will affect his Airbnb business. I’m pretty tolerant but I won’t be staying there again.

It seems to me that increased taxes, decreased defense spending and Universal Basic Income will be in our future.


I hope I’m mistaken, but I see the U.S. in a march to war with China. So I think we’ll see greatly increased defense funding. [I hope I’m wrong and I’ve read of others forecasting lower defense spending as a % of GDP [Gross Domestic Product]. But – hard to believe – U.S. defense spending is at a near record low, 2.7%. So to me defense spending is more likely to increase than decrease, but hope you’re right.

Universal basic income seems a stretch in the near term when we couldn’t get votes for sustaining the expanded child care credit (which is a limited type of basic income) even though that would have reduced child poverty by 40%. This is such an utter shame (and while many were touting the 40% reduction, I couldn’t help but ask ‘Why stop at a 40% reduction??’). Just looking at it from a cost-benefit view it’s such common sense to invest in the health and well being of our future workers and adult citizens.

So I’m not at all optimistic that the utter poverty, drugs and ‘Mad Max’ future depicted in the Phoenix article is soon to be addressed, especially with the concerns that the Democrats will lose the Senate in 2024 (because Democrats have to defend 23 seats, while Republicans need to defend just 11).

But I hope you’re right. As the saying goes, it’s hard to make accurate predictions, especially about the future.

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I agree, but if the homeless encampment is not likely to go away soon, why not a GoFund me campaign to buy him out and ask that the couple (or someone else) run a soup kitchen type of place there. Actually this couple would be great to run it.

I agree. But I could imagine – and this is why I posted this article – with (per the article) Phoenix rents having increased 80% since the pandemic, politicians deciding to further regulate STRs to show that they are doing ‘something.’

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The wife is burnt out on dealing with the homeless people, the gun shots, the mess, etc. Why would she want to run a soup kitchen there? She wants out of that scene.


Yes, seems so. But if she had financial security and the homeless situation were not threatening their business because they became their ‘customers’, she might be interested. Maybe not.

As for defense spending being at a record low… I don’t know where you got that.

As a percentage of GNP, the US spends more than most (I’m guessing 80-85%) other nations and double that of China. Russia spends a larger percentage but less overall because they aren’t as wealthy as we are. Nations in the middle east typically spend double the percentage of us and yet we still send billions in military aid to our “allies” including human rights violators supreme, Israel and Saudi Arabia.

As a percentage of our federal discretionary budget, military accounts for about half. We spend more on social security and medicare but we have no control over that, they are entitlements that the government is legally obligated to spend.

Depending on the point one is trying to make there are a lot of ways to parse military spending. But any way you look at it we spend more absolutely and by percentage than most nations, including our most fearsome enemies.

I agree it seems a stretch in the near term and the societal reaction to covid doesn’t make me optimistic about what Americans are willing to do for the good of society. Climate change is going to be the wild card and for my lifetime I’m fairly optimistic. For the continuation of life on earth I’m optimistic. But there’s a period from 2100 to ?? that is going to be hell.


I agree with every other thing you said. And I have read others suggesting that while the U.S. is projected to spend more and more on the military in dollar terms, that it is not projected to be spending more as a % of GDP. I’m just disagreeing with that idea that we’ll spend less as a % of GDP, but I’m no expert.

This graph corroborates your other points. That top line is Saudi Arabia.

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Sorry to be pendantic but saying spending is “at” at projected figure is inaccurate and misleading. It’s 2023 and we typically spend more than what is budgeted, not less. Things like pandemics, terrorist attacks and foreign wars always mess with the budget. I do appreciate that the DoD has a vested interest in making it seem like they aren’t getting too many of our federal dollars. I dearly hope that they are right and our defense budget finally equals the 1999 low next year.

My belief is that we will have to lower defense budgets world wide to battle climate change. People will be out of jobs due to reduced consumption therefore UBI will come into play. Things that seem impossible now become possible if we a face a crisis that makes the 1930’s seem mild in comparison. Could the specter of widespread destruction of climate change radically change things? Could something that is no respecter of wealth, race or nationality make a difference? I don’t know. I expect to be dead before then anyway.

This is an interesting point because, as you say, supplemental appropriations can be made for various items that were not included in the budget.

For example, this year Congress passed a supplemental appropriations bill that provided about $45 billion for Ukraine.

So, you’re right. The ‘source’ below the graph shows that the numbers are taken from the budget and we know that an additional $45 billion were appropriated after that budget in that one bill.

The title of that graph is misleading, then. It should say “Defense Budget as a % of GDP.”

Here’s a report on supplemental appropriations since the year 2000. So $87 billion so far in FY 2023, $261 billion last year, $186 billion the year before, etc. [Huge numbers]

Thank you.

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But Glenn, that is a percentage of the GDP which has a rising value over the years and is huge and getting "huge-er. "

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