The "Sharing" Economy: Issues Facing Platforms, Participants, and Regulators A Federal Trade Commission Workshop #01408

Submission Number:
01408
Commenter:
Patricia DeLeon
State:
Maryland
Initiative Name:
The "Sharing" Economy: Issues Facing Platforms, Participants, and Regulators A Federal Trade Commission Workshop
I wanted to share what Airbnb has meant to me. I heard about Airbnb a year ago at a time when I had recently been widowed and was facing potential foreclosure on my home due to overwhelming financial stress. Airbnb became my answer to saving my home. What I hadn't foreseen though, was that it also met other needs. With the sudden loss of my spouse and adult children moving away, I found myself very alone in an empty home. Airbnb guests from around the world filled that void. Today I am opening my home to people traveling to our nation's capital for their holidays, to local doctors and scientists taking on short-term job assignments in the area, and even to an occasional woman who finds herself homeless and in need of temporary shelter until she can find a more permant home for herself. Some friends express concern for my safety. I had my own concers. However, after using Airbnb for over a year now, I have grown to trust Airbnb's message system and verification if potential guests. I can communicate with these interested individuals before choosing to accept them as guests in my home. Previous reviews by other hosts are also taken into consideration. Airbnb also makes themselves easily available to me if a concern or problem should arise. Today, not only have I never encountered a safety concern, but I have enjoyed watching my neighbors interacting with my guests as well. Local businesses have welcomed them, helped them with their purchases (many of whom have language barriers as they come from China, France, Brazil, and ither countries). Today my family can see the big impact Airbnb has made in my life. It has brought meaningful relationships, many smiles, and of course, financial stability.