The local politics of AirBNB’s ban on DC rentals

Traumatized residents, city officials fear a repeat of January 6 insurrection.

In DC this month, residents first tried to respond to insurrectionist violence themselves. Evans, the NextDoor organizer, believed it was easier that way. “I thought it would probably be more difficult for me to get Airbnb management to look at any email we sent them. So I thought, ‘Let’s try to do this from the ground up and contact neighbors within our vicinity.’” Most property owners he contacted were nice about it, he says. Some didn’t know about the security threats surrounding the inauguration. Others asked, Why don’t you get in touch with Airbnb about this?

On the other side of the equation, some Airbnb hosts were frustrated by the company’s inaction in the days immediately following the insurrection. They had received messages from neighbors; they wanted to help. But they also didn’t want to lose income during a recession.

Over 150 comments, most common “AirBnB is bad”, “concern is overblown”, “no one should be coming to DC now”, “stay home because Pandemic”.

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