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Airbnb Cost NYC Renters $616M In 2016 Alone, According To City Report

Airbnb Vice President of Trips Joe Zadeh

The hotel lobby has long argued that Airbnb’s presence in the city worsens housing affordability. Now, a new report from Comptroller Scott Stringer is adding fuel to that claim.

Stringer’s office examined how much Airbnb helped push up rents between 2009 and 2016 in New York City by comparing growth in what rents would have been without listings on the site to what they actually were, Bloomberg reports.

The report found that for each 1% of all apartments in a neighborhood listed on Airbnb, the rent in that neighborhood increased by 1.58%. That works out to be around $616M for 2016 alone.

“From Bushwick to Chinatown, and in so many neighborhoods in between, affordable apartments that should be available to rent never hit the market because they are making a profit for Airbnb,” Stringer said in the report.

Airbnb disputed the findings, arguing the methodology was flawed and the results inaccurate. The company said that who rent their homes and apartments on the site were “again faulted for an affordability crisis that they have no part in — and one that they themselves face every day.”

According to the report, the neighborhoods that saw the greatest increases included Chelsea, Greenwich Village and SoHo. Rents there went up by around 20%.

Airbnb has filed a Freedom of Information Law request with the city, according to a statement from the company.

"The very foundation of the report is deeply flawed," said Airbnb Head of Global Polciy Chris Lehane. "Assuming that all Airbnb Hosts are renting their homes 365 nights a year is akin to conducting a traffic study that assumes all cars in New York are on the road all day, every day."

He said that Airbnb said it has reason to believe the report was influenced by "powerful special interests."

UPDATE, MAY 4, 12:30 P.M. ET: This story has been updated to include a statement from Airbnb.