As you may have heard, the Cambridge City Council is currently debating the best way to regulate the presence of AirBnB and other Short Term Rentals (STR) in our city. The council’s Ordinance Committee will hold a hearing on this issue next Tuesday.
I hope you will attend the hearing, or write to the Councilors, to demonstrate your support for a draft ordinance limiting STRs to one owner-occupied unit, plus one additional unit on the same property.
Ordinance Committee Hearing on Short Term Rentals
Tuesday, April 4th
Cambridge City Hall
If you cannot attend the hearing, I encourage you to send an email to all nine City Councilors on this matter. Please address your message to Ordinance Committee Co-Chairs Dennis Carlone and Leland Cheung. You can reach all nine councilors at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please be sure to copy the city clerk (email@example.com) as well as myself so that I know which ABC supporters are reaching out on this issue
A Better Cambridge has been fighting since 2012 to expand permanent housing opportunities for all families and individuals in Cambridge. While ABC has often focused on the production of much-needed new housing, key to building a more diverse and affordable city is the preservation of permanent rental housing units that can be occupied by Cambridge residents.
We fear that the proliferation of unregulated short term rentals will result in a reduction of supply of permanent housing opportunities for Cambridge families and individuals.
Under our preferred regulation, the owner of a triple-decker in Cambridge would be able to rent their own unit plus an additional unit in that building on AirBnB or other STR websites. Similarly, the owner of a single family home with a carriage house unit would be able to rent both under this regulation. This approach balances the right of Cambridge homeowners to make supplemental income by offering their homes for short term rental, while preserving as many units as possible for long-term rental to current and future Cambridge residents.
ABC is pleased to be a member of the Welcome Home Coalition, a partnership of housing and community groups in Massachusetts that support short-term renters while working to maintain housing for Massachusetts residents. We believe that short term rental platforms can be an economic lifeline to Cambridge homeowners. We believe that residents of Cambridge should have the right to rent out their own homes.