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The Short Term Rental Debacle: Welcome Refugees!

Vacation rental homes have become a political movement now with adding refugee status to the mix.

Welcome Refugees!

The Short Term Rental Debacle: Welcome Refugees!

by Lorri Erickson

The last article provided the history of the short term rental/vacation rental industry that culminated with Idaho legislation in 2018. Now, Airbnb and VRBO are partnering with others to bring Afghanistan and Ukrainian refugees to be housed in this new growing industry. According to a recent RT article, Airbnb has housed 35% of all Afghan refugees in the United States in major cities.

Many property homeowners have been complaining that the legislation passed forbade their local communities from managing the short term rental industry. Homeowners are complaining about loud parties, renters complete disregard for local laws and neighbors to mention just a few. This also takes long term rental properties and homes out of inventory. It seems that vacation rental homes have become a political movement now with adding refugee status to the mix.

Perhaps an old system of incrementalism is in play. Merriam-Webster defines “incrementalism as a policy or advocacy of a policy of political or social change by degrees; gradualism”. In this case, a very liberal broad policy is passed that prohibits local control of a new industry. Then there are small changes like House Bill 471 that is being presented by the Idaho Freedom Foundation that will include RV’s, couches and tents. Soon, it could extend the current 30 day limit on these rentals.

Since when did a vacation rental become a political movement? Airbnb has cancelled Michelle Malkin’s account because she was a speaker at a conference. According to Airbnb’s policy they prohibit people to rent that are perceived to associate with a hate group! They partner with the Southern Poverty Law Center the group that loves to hate in identifying who they are! Didn’t they ever read the 1st Amendment? So who is really living in your neighborhood and who brought them there?

The United National World Tourist Organization has endorsed a term called “shared economy” that specifies the use globally of the short term rental industry. This UNWTO organization specify that this industry along with the digital platforms with continue to see exponential growth. In fact, the United States alone expects a 33.8 billion dollars in revenue from this industry.

If you think the war is in Ukraine or Afghanistan and it won’t affect you in your neighborhood than the United Nations, Idaho lobbyists and conservative groups may prove that it is closer than you think. How could this happen in our little hamlet of Idaho? Didn’t our legislators and Governor at the time realize that local community control is the best for Idahoans? In this case, the lobbyists made lots of money, our legislators may have been duped (if so you better be all over this to fix it!) but the taxpayers and property owners are the losers because they have to pay for the infrastructure that the tourist industry has created.


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