I am writing in opposition to Question E on the Portland ballot, which would eliminate all non-owner-occupied short-term-rental units. Short-term rentals are already regulated to prevent oversaturation. The majority of units are owned and operated by individual building owners who rent out a unit, or a bedroom, in their primary residence.

As owner of a three-unit building on Munjoy Hill, I’ve allowed tenants to rent out rooms, or their entire apartment, to help offset their rent, and I rent my second bedroom in the summer when hotel rooms are either too limited or too expensive.

Beyond offsetting improvements, short-term rentals have offered guests an opportunity for a more personal visit to our city, and I’ve developed a number of friends who were once guests. Increasing restrictions will limit homeowners who are trying to leverage their property asset (or liability) and leave bedrooms vacant.

Abolishing, or extremely limiting, short-term rentals in search of affordable housing is misguided.

Brad Boehringer

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