Airbnb Lawyer Responds to Article on Home-Sharing in Greenwich

Letter to the editor submitted by Andrew L. Kalloch, a lawyer who works in Public Policy for Airbnb, Feb. 21, 2017

Re: “In Greenwich, Airbnb Finds a Home in the New Sharing Economy” (12 Feb. 2017)

Airbnb is providing many Greenwich residents with the opportunity to earn supplemental income by sharing their own homes.

In the last year, 60 hosts welcomed 2,000 guests to the community, with the typical host renting their space for fewer than 5 nights a month.

Nearly 70 percent of Greenwich hosts are women and almost half are over the age of 50, highlighting how many hosts use supplemental income from extra bedrooms to “age in place” in the neighborhoods they call home.

Home sharing has come a long way since the days of classified ads and cash payment. In fact, Airbnb has pioneered cutting-edge policies to ensure that home sharing is safe and secure, from criminal background checks on hosts and guests and a Verified ID system, to two overlapping $1 million insurance policies that protect hosts, guests, and neighbors in the rare event of injury or theft, and a special “Neighbors” platform to allow residents to file complaints 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

In addition, Airbnb is doing its part to support core public services throughout the State of Connecticut by collecting and remitting the state’s hotel tax on behalf of its guests and hosts.

We are proud of our community in the Constitution State and look forward to continuing to work with cities and towns to foster the economic opportunity that home sharing provides.

Andrew L. Kalloch