CHICAGO (AP) — The debate over regulating short term home rentals through companies like Airbnb has come to Chicago.
A City Council panel heard testimony Tuesday on a proposal to limit the number of units rented per building, require city registration and impose a surcharge to pay for homeless services.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s administration has been drafting regulations for months. Aldermen in bustling neighborhoods claim Chicago isn’t protecting homeowners who end up next to de-facto hotels and that revolving visitors change a neighborhood’s character. However, proponents say rentals help supplement income and boost neighborhood businesses.
Officials estimate Chicago has roughly 6,000 units rented through sites like Airbnb and HomeAway.
Other cities have passed regulations including Philadelphia and San Francisco.
Airbnb opposes the proposal, saying short-term rentals help local economies, including helping homeowners avoid foreclosure.