Supporters of Airbnb regulations hold rally in Jersey City

Posted: Updated:

People who support a proposed law to regulate short-term home rentals in Jersey City held a rally Thursday.

The people who rallied chanted sayings like “Homes, not hotels.” They say that the industry of short-term rentals needs to be more regulated and that apps like Airbnb are taking affordable housing away from those who need it.

“We’re voting ‘yes’ to protect our neighborhoods. We’re voting ‘yes’ for affordability and we’re voting ‘yes’ for Jersey City,” says City Councilwoman Mira Prinze-Arey.

Supporters of regulation say that real estate investors are turning once-affordable apartments into profitable short-term rentals, making it even harder for lower-income residents to find housing in Jersey City.

RELATED: Jersey City officials urge residents to vote ‘yes’ on short-term rental restrictions 
RELATED: Protesters rally against proposed Airbnb, short-term rental regulations in Jersey City 

Jersey City residents will vote on the measure in the November election. Airbnb has been supporting a campaign to defeat the measure.

“The dog and pony show today is another example of kind of the misleading operation that's been out there trying to scapegoat a lot of people who use home-sharing here in Jersey City,” says Graeme Zielinski, of the group Save Our Homes Campaign.

Supporters of stricter regulations say short-term rentals hurt minorities in Jersey City.

“We will vote ‘yes.’ We will vote ‘yes’ for those black folks, those brown folks and those working people who are constantly being pushed out,” says Amani Oakley with the group New Jersey Working Families.

But the Jersey City chapter of the NAACP has sided with Airbnb against the restrictions, calling them economic discrimination because they would ban renters from being Airbnb hosts and place limits on property owners who provide short-term rentals.

Voters will decide on the issue on Nov. 5.

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