The "Sharing" Economy: Issues Facing Platforms, Participants, and Regulators A Federal Trade Commission Workshop #01346

Submission Number:
01346
Commenter:
Jessica Winum
State:
New York
Initiative Name:
The "Sharing" Economy: Issues Facing Platforms, Participants, and Regulators A Federal Trade Commission Workshop
I have been a member of the Airbnb community since 2011, first as a guest, and more recently, as a host. I have found this to be an invaluable way of making friends, seeing the world in a deeper and broader way, and making ends meet. My husband is a high school teacher and his income has never been enough to support our family. However, when he went through cancer treatment in 2013, when our 6th child was only a few months old, our finances took an even greater tumble. We tried to get SNAP benefits but we make $20 per month too much. If that isn't lower middle class, I don't know what is. Over the past two years, we have begun a CSA and I have started hosting guests through Airbnb. We hope to have enough guests that we can start to pay down our credit card debt, and I will be able to stay home and be with my children as a stay at home mom. I enjoy meeting new people and have really enjoyed being a host. With Airbnb's safety measures and review system, I feel confident that though I am letting strangers into my home, I can be assured that my family is safe, and that these strangers are only friends I haven't met yet. Airbnb's insurance is also piece of mind and means I don't have to complicate my own insurance policy by adding some sort of rider on to it. I am very grateful that Airbnb exists, and I hope it continues to exist without being over-regulated in the future. Thank you for your time and attention. ~Jessica Winum