A new Airbnb policy aims to prevent landlords from using the platform to profit off evictions, it says.
The company said Tuesday it will ban landlords from listing properties where a tenant previously protected by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s eviction moratorium — which expires at the end of June — was evicted for not paying rent.
Airbnb says the policy starts Tuesday and will run at least through the end of the year. It will then review the policy and input from cities to determine if it should be extended.
The company says it will partner with jurisdictions to implement the policy. When a city notifies Airbnb that a new listing on its platform is located where a previously protected tenant was evicted for nonpayment, the company says it will ban the listing.
“By working with cities to prevent landlords from using our marketplace to profit from removing a vulnerable long-term tenant from their home based on non-payment of rent, we believe we can send a strong message that will help keep people in their homes at this critical time,” Airbnb says.
The new policy comes as the CDC’s moratorium on residential evictions is set to expire June 30.
The CDC issued the order in September 2020 to temporarily halt evictions and slow the spread of COVID-19. The ban was initially set to expire in December 2020 but was extended multiple times, eventually until June 30.
“Keeping people in their homes and out of crowded or congregate settings — like homeless shelters — by preventing evictions is a key step in helping to stop the spread of COVID-19,” the CDC said of the moratorium.
Now, an estimated 11 million Americans say they are behind on rent and face eviction when the ban expires, CNBC reported in May based on data from the Center on Budget and Policy priorities. A March report from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau found that Black and Hispanic families are more than twice as likely to be behind on housing payments than white families.
“Like much of the disruption caused by the pandemic, this will have the harshest repercussions on communities of color,” Airbnb says.
The company says it is “committed to being part of the solution when it comes to keeping tenants in their homes in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
It says over the next few weeks it will “engage cities on implementing” the policy.
“This outreach will include a specific focus on those cities that are experiencing a high rate of evictions,” Airbnb says. “Jurisdictions interested in partnering with Airbnb on this initiative can contact email@example.com.”