WWW.QNS.COM RIDGEWOOD TIMES OCTOBER 14, 2021 13
Don’t make travel to NYC even less aff ordable — legalize short-term rentals
BY AIMEE THRASHER
I moved to New York City in
1980 and the biggest problem I
encountered was the lack of affordable
housing, even back then.
Four years later, I was priced out
of Manhattan and chose to move to
While I changed boroughs because
of skyrocketing rent prices, I
fell in love with my neighborhood.
There is no area more diverse in the
world than Queens. From the local
restaurants to the unparalleled
boutiques, each small business is
unique and special in its own way.
This is why in 1998 I made the decision
to purchase a small mother/
daughter house in Queens. It was
my dream to be a homeowner and
this house would be an investment
in my family’s future.
When I neared retirement in 2015,
I realized that I could not live off of
my social security and pension. So
I fixed up the first-floor apartment
of my home and listed it on Airbnb
as a short-term rental.
My introduction to the platform
was through traveling with my family.
One hotel room with two beds
was inadequate for our needs and
yet we could not afford two rooms.
Airbnb offered comfortable, homelike
accommodations that could fit
our entire family at a fraction of
the price. Yes, we would be without
some amenities, but what mattered
was that we were able to take a trip
together as a family.
As a host, I’ve become very passionate
about hospitality and giving
my guests the best possible experience,
like I had gotten years ago
with my family. I am proud to share
my home with New York’s visitors
and show new people around the
borough. My guests come from
around the world to spend their
money in New York. They shop in
our grocery stores, eat in our restaurants,
go to our shops and use
our transit system.
Our local government should be
celebrating short-term renters, not
trying to keep them out, but new
legislation threatens to do just that.
An ambiguous and arbitrary bill
that’s currently being considered
by the City Council would limit the
number of guests to two people,
when visits to my home typically
consist of families made up of three
or four people. Airbnb was a way
for families to travel affordably
and this bill would make our city
even less accessible to lower-income
visitors. Do they regulate hotels to
that number of guests? The answer
is likely no.
These regulations would strike a
significant blow to tourism outside
of Manhattan and the traditional
tourism districts. Just when people
have started to book travel to New
York City again, we risk locking
For me personally, these rules
would be devastating. While Airbnb
might be supplemental income
for some, it is my ONLY source of
income. If I lose my ability to rent
on Airbnb, I won’t be able to pay my
mortgage and I will lose my home.
I am 72 years old and I don’t have
anywhere else to go. Airbnb is the
only reason I am able to stay in my
I know I am not the only older
New Yorker who relies on shortterm
renters to stay in their home.
Were our local government to concentrate
more on assisting those
of us on fixed incomes and less on
unnecessary regulation, maybe this
wouldn’t be the case. Judging by current
events, they would rather work
toward helping the hotel industry
than our city’s most vulnerable.
If the New York City Council cares
about our city’s seniors, homeowners
or the local economy, then they
will stop this bill from becoming the
law. There is still time to do what is
right for real New Yorkers.
Aimee Thrasher is an Airbnb host
FALL IN QUEENS
PHOTO COURTESY OF J. V.
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