The "Sharing" Economy: Issues Facing Platforms, Participants, and Regulators A Federal Trade Commission Workshop
I am an Airbnb Host based in Atlanta, Georgia. Like many Americans, I was laid off from my job in May 2013. As a single mother of two school aged children, I was panicked as to how to make ends meet, pay the mortgage, power bills, phone bills, grocery, keep the car maintained and medical bills. I have taken personal savings and built up two rooms in my home for Airbnb space. I purchased all new beds, lamps, linens, bedside tables, keyless entry code locks, painted the spaces and remodeled the mini kitchen area. As a result of my efforts (and the location of my home), I have received 71 exemplary reviews from guests staying at my home. At this time, this is my only source of income and I take it extremely seriously and professionally. I have always had renters in my home staying for short or long periods of time. When Airbnb was introduced, this gave me a wider audience to market my rental space. As a result, I make about $2000 per month, which is reported to the government and I pay federal income tax and state tax on this rental income. Without this income, I would not be able to keep my home for my children to continue at their schools in our local neighborhood. Both of my children are straight A students and I would be crushed to have to sell my house and move out of my neighborhood and take them away from this stability.