The "Sharing" Economy: Issues Facing Platforms, Participants, and Regulators A Federal Trade Commission Workshop #00597

Submission Number:
00597
Commenter:
Boehler
State:
Virginia
Initiative Name:
The "Sharing" Economy: Issues Facing Platforms, Participants, and Regulators A Federal Trade Commission Workshop
Hi, Allow me to introduce myself and explain why the sharing economy is keeping average famlies afloat following the financial crisis in which many average hard-working Americans lost their homes or owe more than their homes are worth. I sold my tiny 1 bedroom/1 bath home when my mom became ill and bought a modest 3 bedroom/2 bath home so she could move from Massachusetts to Virginia to live with me. In the decade since I bought this home both she and my first husband died. I remarried and now have a toddler. Having a full-time renter is out of the question since no one in their right mind would choose to live beneath a family with an active small child. Enter Airbnb: by renting out our extra bedroom on a short term basis to tourists who mainly sleep here and are not around to hear the noise upstairs, we have found a way to stay in my home, a home with a mortgage that is over half of what I make per month. About me: As young musician, I spent many nights with host families while touring the world. It gave me wonderful insight into the lives of people from all over the world. I am able to draw on those experiences and act as an ambassador for tourists both young and old who are traveling on a budget, people who need temporary housing while they transition to our nation's capital or lonely travelers who enjoy the friendly hello of a family and welcome the purring cat who snuggles with them. In an age where many people choose social media over human to human interaction, Airbnb allows people from all walks of life to communicate and share albeit a story, a warm mug of cocoa or a bona fide smile. As my toddler learned in preschool, "sharing is caring."