NLG Housing Committe: Don't Use Airbnb
At the 2016 Law for the People Convention, the National Lawyers Guild membership voted to boycott Air BnB and other short-term rental platforms and discourage their use for the purposes of conferences and event lodging. Washington DC, like many of our cities, is experiencing an affordable housing crisis. DC is a majority-renter city, but a renter in DC would have to work almost three minimum wage jobs to afford market rent in 2017. A quarter of renters in DC are severely cost burdened, meaning they spend more than half of their income on rent. Air BnB has proliferated in recent years, contributing to the affordable housing crisis by taking entire homes off the rental market, and incentivising speculation by investors that leads to higher property taxes and rents. Check out this detailed March 2017 report by DC Working Families about how “Airbnb and similar online short-term rental platforms are facilitating the widespread conversion of housing units into illegal hotel rooms, in a bid to profit from the District’s already-scarce housing stock.” DC-based advocates organizers are currently working on a campaign to curb the impact of short term rentals, particularly by preventing hosts from taking full units of housing off the market. An estimated 2,000 whole units have already been pulled off the market.
In addition, Air BnB, recently began listing rentals in illegal Israeli settlements in the West Bank, and thus both the websites and their users glean profit from stolen land. These settlements are in violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention, which prohibits an occupying power from moving its civilian population onto the land it is occupying.
The Housing Committee of the NLG requests that you stand in solidarity with our local and international struggles against displacement, by choosing a non-Air BnB (or similar online short-term rental platform) lodging option. Feel free to contact the Housing Committee if you have any questions. We look forward to seeing you at the convention!
Option 2: Alternative Housing
Request or offer alternative housing!
A limited amount of space will be available in the homes of generous DC-area Guild members at no cost. To request alternative housing or to volunteer extra space in your home, please fill out the online forms below or at bit.ly/HousingRequests2017 or bit.ly/HousingOffers2017. NOTE: While we do our best to fulfill all alternative housing requests, we cannot guarantee alternative housing to everyone.
Are you an NLG member in the DC metro area and have extra space in your home to offer a fellow convention attendee? Please fill out the form below! You'll be helping folks attend the convention who may not be able to afford a hotel room. Many, many thanks!
Looking for no-cost accommodations during the convention? Sign up to be paired with a local NLG member generously offering space in their home!