"They are taking away from the city's affordable housing stock and the amount of units available for permanent residents," said Christine Haw, code enforcement supervisor for the San Francisco Planning Department. According to census figures released last month, converting private San Francisco residences into makeshift vacation rentals is on the rise, reports The Bay Citizen. The census counted 5,564 vacation homes in San Francisco - up from 3,764 in 2000. This should come as no surprise to anyone who's sought out an alternative to staying at a hotel when they go on vacation. And now with websites like Airbnb and VRBO, it's almost too easy to list your property as a short-term rental. Although conversions are largely illegal under San Francisco's rent-control laws, cases are difficult to prove. "We call it the 'hotelization' of San Francisco," said Ted Gullicksen of the tenants union. "Seniors, families and low-income tenants are being pushed out. We have to fight for every affordable unit."
· Conversion of Apartments to Rentals for Tourists Is Surging [NYTimes]
[Photo via Sergio]