Portland renters know our city is experiencing an affordability crisis. We need multiple solutions, but one of the easiest fixes is to curtail Airbnbs by voting “yes” on Question E on the city ballot.

Despite loud arguments that this might hurt Portland by eliminating an income source for landlords, the economic facts of the situation are clear. A University of Southern California study finds that Airbnb is likely responsible for one-fifth of the nation’s average annual rent increases.

The Economic Policy Institute states that the extra Airbnb income for a small number of property owners is outweighed by the resulting damage to tenants. Furthermore, according to the EPI, Airbnbs do not significantly boost tourism, and cities enjoy more reliable tax revenue when visitors stay in hotels.

Owners of Airbnbs can still make a healthy buck in the traditional rental market without eliminating much-needed housing stock and driving up costs. Approving Question E is a no-brainer.

Tom Ryan
Portland

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