The "Sharing" Economy: Issues Facing Platforms, Participants, and Regulators A Federal Trade Commission Workshop #01729

Submission Number:
Natalia Assa
New York
Initiative Name:
The "Sharing" Economy: Issues Facing Platforms, Participants, and Regulators A Federal Trade Commission Workshop
I started as a host for AirBnB last August (2014). This helped me to replace the loss of income from my adjunct teaching jobs that were cut down across the board at public and private universities where I taught (CUNY, SUNY and independents). If it wasn't for AirBnb we would have foreclosed on our house, or I would have had to live Away from home as a live-in caregiver to an elderly. Not only was I able to stay above water, but I also helped several very important professionals to stay in New York City affordably. One is a medical resident, another a regional sales executive of a publishing company, yet another a young actress. All three would have struggled if it wasn't for a room in our house. In addition, the room rental we offer helps numerous international visitors to stay here - from Europe, Middle East, Russia, Latin America, Australia. We got to know air stewardesses from international airlines flying in to the nearby JFK Airport; classical musicians traveling to perform; legal trainees flying internationally; not to mention numerous visitors to New York City. This was a fantastic personal and international experience. Also, AirBnB we are able to contribute to the federal, state and city project of revitalization of the Rockaway Peninsula, as we bought our beautiful new house from a developer sponsored by NYC Housing and Urban Development Department. Arverne By The Sea is a $1 billion development site, aimed at the middle class section of the city. It is a spectacular piece of urban engineering and living here is a gift. None of it would have been possible without AirBnB. Finally, because we are able to rent a spare room in our own house, we are can accommodate my mom and her husband (75 and 84 years old respectively) in an adjacent apartment in our two-family house. Having them live in a separate apartment provides them privacy and dignity that they could not have otherwise had, if we rented out their apartment commercially. It is a priceless convenience to have them nearby, as well as saving them a whole lot of money. All because of AirBnB. We cannot thank AirBnB team enough for the excellent, truly inspired idea of making our house work for us! We especially appreciate the ease and clarity of transaction, pricing tips and professional photography provided to us for free. We filed our taxes for AirBnB income without any hassle and are looking forward to more this year. Once again, thank you for letting us participate in the sharing economy.