The "Sharing" Economy: Issues Facing Platforms, Participants, and Regulators A Federal Trade Commission Workshop #00148

Submission Number:
00148
Commenter:
Megan Hollander
State:
District of Columbia
Initiative Name:
The "Sharing" Economy: Issues Facing Platforms, Participants, and Regulators A Federal Trade Commission Workshop
Being an Airbnb host has dramatically improved my family's quality of life. After giving birth to my son in February 2014, it became clear that we needed to be a dual income family in order to stay in DC, but that me working was providing significant challenges. I am an elementary school teacher, and we were spending over ? of my total income on daycare. Our son was away from us for up to 9 hours a day. I decided that I wanted to stay home with him instead, and the only way for this option to be viable was to do airbnb hosting in our basement apartment. We've been hosts since November 2014 and have had a wonderful experience. We take such joy in showing visitors are beloved city and neighborhood (Noma) and meeting people from around the world. All of our guests have been personally approved by me, and I'm often there alone with my young son. I have felt nothing but trust, respect, and consideration from my guests. Many have given us gifts, shared wine with us, and written thank you notes after their stay. Visitors staying in smaller neighborhoods like ours bring in money that would otherwise be funnelled into the same touristy parts of town. Local businesses and restaurants, like Indigo on K Street, Union Market, and the restaurants and bars of H Street NE have all benefitted from our guests. The sharing economy has been absolutely vital to our continued residence in Washington, DC. Without it, our growing middle-class family would undeniably be forced to move out to the suburbs or to a different and more affordable part of the country altogether.