Woman Hoodwinked After Booking Airbnb Rental In New York City's Housing Projects
Despite the rental site being highly-rated, subletting government-subsidizing housing is illegal.
A Boston traveler experienced the ultimate hoodwink after being swindled into renting an Airbnb situated in the middle of the New York City projects.
According to The Source, Rachel Valerio secured her Airbnb booking, thinking she lucked up on a decently priced, high-rating space in Manhattan. However, upon arrival, she soon discovered her temporary living space was at Chelsea’s Fulton Houses, an NYC Housing Authority (NYCHA) apartment.
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“I grew up poor, and I know how hard it is to get housing,” Valerio said.
Subletting government-subsidizing housing is illegal, and Valerio was consequently refunded her money by the lodging company.
“Illegal subletting of NYCHA apartments on Airbnb is not permitted by HUD regulations and by our lease agreements. We are investigating the matter,” an NYCHA representative wrote in a statement.
"We have supported regulations across the country — including in San Francisco, Los Angeles and elsewhere — that prohibit short-term rentals in public housing. Right here in New York, for the past three years, we have backed a bill proposed in Albany that would go even farther, barring short-term rentals in all affordable housing. Simply put, there is no daylight between us and the City on the importance of preserving public housing — and we will continue to urge the City to work with us to pass these comprehensive regulations and create a path toward responsible home-sharing," Josh Meltzer, head of northeast policy for Airbnb, told Fox 5 News.
Councilman Ritchie Torres said he will hold hearings to further investigate the issue of Airbnb rentals throughout the city’s housing projects.
Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky said the company would thoroughly verify each of the site’s seven million listings to confirm each property meets quality standards after a deadly shooting at a California rental house.