The "Sharing" Economy: Issues Facing Platforms, Participants, and Regulators A Federal Trade Commission Workshop #00729

Submission Number:
Julie Dubrouillet
Initiative Name:
The "Sharing" Economy: Issues Facing Platforms, Participants, and Regulators A Federal Trade Commission Workshop
I am writing to tell you how Airbnb has helped me survive as a single mom. I live in the the Bay Area with my 2 children and the rent here is unbelievably high. I work in health education at the Palo Alto Medical Foundationand it is a good job but I would not be able to stay in this community that my children and I consider home without renting a room through Airbnb. I rent a 3 bedroom house in Palo Alto that has a converted garage room with a separate entrance and bathroom that I rent. My guests come and go and my children and I barely see them. I have had Doctors and Professors who have come from overseas to work at Stanford, new University graduates who are starting their careers here in the Silicon Valley who are in the process of finding permanent housing and grandparents coming to visit their children and grandchildren who need a place to stay because their kid's homes are too small. I have had guests from every continent apart from Antarctica and it has been an amazing experience. Airbnb gives me the safety and piece of mind of verifying identities and providing reviews. I would not have that if I had to find renters through Craigslist and if I had to rent the space permanently I would have to share the kitchen and common spaces which is not what I want for my kids. Airbnb has been a Godsend for me. I understand there can be problems with some hosts renting numberous spaces on the market and then turning around and renting them for more through airbnb and so creating virtual hotels with many rooms. As someone who lives where housing is tight, I can see where that should be regulated so as not to drive prices high for people looking for a place to make their home, but for those of us who rent a room or two in our own homes it is the perfect alternative to finding a room mate and it provides a nice alternative for our guests to staying in a hotel distirct in a city. My guests are always thrilled at how quiet my street is and they love to take advantage of going running or biking, something that is harder to do when you stay on a "hotel strip". I think it is a win win for all involved. I know that I would be in real trouble without it. Thanks for your time. Julie Dubrouillet