Boston Tourist Discovers Manhattan AirBNB Turned Out To Be NYCHA Tenement Housing With Roach Motel
Boston tourist Rachel Valerio thought her $90-a-night Manhattan Airbnb was a good deal. However, she soon discovered she had booked an apartment in a New York City Housing Authority complex.
The apartment was reportedly highly rated on Airbnb in Chelsea.
Valerio said the unit smelled like gas. She also said there were roach traps next to the bed.
Valerio discovered a plus. The Manhattan AirBNB was next door to the High Line and Chelsea Market.
Valerio states she saw the letters N-Y-C-H-A in the lobby. However, she did not know what they stood for. When she unpacked, she did an internet search. She soon discovered that it stood for the maligned public housing agency.
Both the federal government and New York State forbid subletting a government-subsidized apartment. However, it does occasionally happen.
NYCHA told several news outlets they were investigating the matter.
As a result, Airbnb refunded Valerio’s money.
Josh Meltzer, Head of Northeast Policy for Airbnb stated the company supports prohibiting short-term rentals in public housing. AirBNB has supported efforts in New York that would bar short-term rentals in all affordable housing.
AirBNB stated that there are no issues between the company and the City on the issue. The company stated they believe in the importance of preserving public housing. The company also added that it will continue to urge the City to work with them to pass these comprehensive regulations.
Air BNB added that they want to create a path toward responsible home sharing with the New York City Hall.
New York City Councilman Ritchie Torres says he will hold hearings to find out how many NYCHA units are being used for AirBNB rentals. The company said they will wholeheartedly cooperate with the city.