Home News Hudson Anti-Airbnb Activist Rented Her Home on Airbnb

Hudson Anti-Airbnb Activist Rented Her Home on Airbnb

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Photo: Wolfgang Kaehler / Light Rocket via Getty Images

Carol Ostelink is often advised by Hudson neighbors about the sofa being left behind on a broken bridge and the closure of a Chinese restaurant on Warren Street.These tips will help you to compose her blog, Rivertown gossip. It covers everything from school board elections to lost dogs in detail. But in January, something particularly juicy came out. There was a list of new Hudson Airbnb. That is, Union Street’s three bedrooms are available for $ 200 per night. The explanation was the same as before. There was a “country kitchen, record player, comfortable sectional sofa” in that place.What was interesting, Osterink Position, “Apartments are a great critic of gentrification and tourism, advocates of affordable housing, and former district Alder Rebecca Wolf, the designer of the law restricting short-term rentals in Hudson. It was in a house owned by him. “” I’m horrified, “someone commented. Another example: “Honestly, I don’t know if Rebecca Wolf will be able to raise his head while walking down Warren Street after this.”

Wolff arrived in Hudson in 2005. A poet and editor, she grew up in Chelsea and spent many years flying around college towns across the country, eventually buying a home on Union Street. Shortly after her move-in, she rented half of the space to long-term tenants, below market prices. She “understands that I’m a gentrification person,” Wolff told me about her move to Hudson. She said, “I talked about it in the anti-gentrification conversations I’ve done so far. It’s like a billion. To be honest, I’m pretty crazy about it.”

A couple of years after she moved, a couple bought her house. She soon realized that they had no plans to actually live in the place. “They bought it just for Airbnb,” she says. A spinning vacationer cast started biking next door, leaving the door open and the lights on. “It was miserable.”

By the time she first decided to run for the city’s common council as a politician in 2019, Wolff was already well-known as an outspoken Airbnb critic in the town. One said she heard her read an anti-Airbnb poem on her housing forum. She frequently posted on Facebook about how European cities effectively regulate Airbnbs and hosted a public forum on this topic. When talking about her short-term rent, people described her as “adamant” and “vehement.” But she wasn’t alone, though she may have been the loudest.

Hudson has a lot of Airbnb. By the end of 2019, the city with only 6,000 residents had registered 143 short-term rental properties. Local report.. And while it’s certainly not the city’s most dire housing problem, it’s a sensitive problem. The subject of wealthy suburban people buying homes for rent to other wealthy suburban people became nervous in a rapidly becoming gentle city, and “6th autonomous region.. For many years, the median rental price of Hudson has risen from $ 875 for a one-bedroom in March 2015 to $ 1,787 in 2022. according to To Zamper. These changes are sharply felt by the city’s long-term blacks and immigrant residents. “Walking up and down Warren Street in the state and Colombia, you might see a black man. That’s it. Colored races have been completely banished,” said the city council’s majority leader for seven years. Tiffany Gariga says.

But it’s not just those who are frustrated by the surge in Airbnbs that are being kicked out by the changing Hudson. Like Wolff, early gentrifiers feel that these newer gentrifiers are reducing the “coolness” of the city. Expression In a blog post. (“For me personally,” she writes. “The city of Hudson is not only economically oppressed and corrupted by the visits of monocultural colonialists, but also at the risk of simply being unpleasant. There. Shopping Shopping Hotel Hotel Hotel Boogie Boogie Buzzy bullshit. Not very cool. “) Others say it’s almost free bothersome At a daily level. When a local was attacked by an out-of-town man who ran across the street to ask if she was checking out Airbnb, she recently tried to leave the house with her suitcase. I told me there was. , number. It’s my house. “

When the pandemic broke out in 2020, Hudson No.1 Metro area domestic From the perspective of the percentage of people moving there. The recognition of outsiders has become a new purpose.At a council meeting, Gariga raised the issue of people in the outskirts of town walking around with their masks off, but Wolff said. Accused People who are “trying to take a little vacation in our city when they are supposed to be at home.”

All of that strengthened Wolff’s determination to use her newly acquired seats in the council to regulate non-owners. Promotion of Airbnbs and housing solutions. She was absorbed in her work, lobbying for her affordable housing project and joining multiple committees. Local John Paul Kane, who lived in Hudson at the time, said her tone was very “if you weren’t with me, you would definitely be against me.” In the summer of 2020, the council discussed a law led by Wolff and local carpenter and screenwriter Jon Rosenthal to regulate short-term leasing. Virtual meetings have weakened things, but conversations have managed to provoke a strong reaction. “The emotions got hot and people said a lot,” Rosenthal says. “It took me a while to pass a very simple bill.” Opponent Complained Proponents replied that regulation would “squeeze the economy,” but “all wealthy bastards are strangling our community.”

In the fall, the short-term leasing law passed the council UnanimouslyAnd it was signature By the mayor later that year. Rents are limited to “1 block, 3 units” (if residents also live there), and private home rents are limited to 60 days per year (if the owner lives in Hudson for more than 50 days per year). I am. The The law itself Moderate, existing Airbnb operators have affected only nine companies, all of which have successfully applied for differences to continue short-term leasing. However, because the new Airbnb must comply with restrictions, future outsiders are also restricted from purchasing multiple Airbnb properties as an investment. Things seemed calm. A year later, Wolff’s Airbnb list popped up.

“I had something I liked, Hey, isn’t it strange that I’m listing my apartment on Airbnb for everyone?“Wolf says. “But it didn’t hit me as a big hypocrisy.” When Times Union — A newspaper covering Albany, Troy, Schenectady and Saratoga — Report on the dispute Earlier this month, Wolff said her decision to go public on Airbnb was accidental. She decided to stay in her parents’ villa in Cape Cod to focus on her writing and had to find her subletter. (Wolf said she didn’t have a trust fund because so many people blame her, and the Cape house she’s staying in is “not a great beach house. A little house in the woods.” It’s completely modest. “) When she couldn’t find a tenant right away, she went the least resistant path and put it on Airbnb for a while. Everything was fair in her mind. As Airbnb in her home, she followed the principles of the new law — Herself I was working hard to pass..

None of this logic worked for Hudson residents who spent at least five years hearing her rails to Airbnbs. “When she posted her place on Airbnb, everyone looked straight at it. She lost her trust,” says Rich Volo, her former Alder and Airbnb operator. “When you say you are a working class champion, you are doing something here for your own benefit.” (Many people pointed out to me what Wolf once had He posted a screenshot of Instagram Bio, a local realtor, and commented that he owns Airbnbs and investment real estate. I will strip his head and give it to #lion. She later deleted it. There was a strong sense of Schadenfreude — many of the towns they felt judged by Wolf for a long time seemed excited to see her slip. “Rebecca worked hard, but sometimes she gets in the way of her good job,” Rosenthal says.

As housing conditions worsen everywhere, Target for short-term rental And how to regulate them will continue to be enthusiastically debated — often by political newcomers who inevitably have strong opinions in small, understaffed areas. “I think a lot of conversations are very burdensome because there are housing crises everywhere in the United States and it’s hard to live on income and rent. If you want to buy something as a first-time homebuyer, I will buy it, “says Rosenthal. “And it really makes it really difficult for local governments to deal with problems that go far beyond your resources and capabilities.”

As for Wolf, she has some regrets. “If I knew what care, time and energy it took to list my apartment on her Airbnb, I probably wouldn’t have done that,” she says. “I feel it’s a great distraction from the real situation.” But most of the time she feels misunderstood. “I made a personal calculation that I had time to write, but luxury is definitely a luxury I have to get some from my good work,” she wrote in a post-incident blog post. “Most importantly, I explain 100 times that short-term renting a home does not threaten the availability of homes or the character of the city like short-term renting a non-owned home. That’s why. The law that helped them pass does not outlaw them. “

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