Question E on Portland’s city ballot would eliminate all non-owner-occupied short-term rental units.

We are Airbnb hosts but we are also Mainers, advocates for our local economy and supporters of affordable housing.

We are not real estate moguls. We own one small apartment building, which we used our life savings and 401(k) to purchase. The extra income enabled us to afford a place in Portland and to provide affordable housing to two nurses who live in our building. It now gives us a small security net while I am out of work caring for our baby during the pandemic.

We love hosting guests and supporting our local economy by showing them all the fantastic small businesses that make our city so exceptional. Banning Airbnb for people like us does not solve any affordable-housing problem. Many hosts like us already provide affordable housing, and if Airbnb disappears, so will our ability to do so, as will the innumerable benefits to our local economy.

Frances Kavanagh
South Portland

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