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March 31, 2020

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Airbnb listing at Chelsea NYCHA complex spurs Council hearings

November 11, 2019

A $90 Airbnb listing in a NYCHA building

You know the old cliche: If something seems too good to be true, it probably is. Such was the case for one Boston tourist, who rented an apartment in Chelsea on Airbnb, only to find that it was located in the Fulton Houses, a NYCHA complex on West 19th Street. 


According to the New York Times, the apartment had a nearly five-star rating, and talked up nearby neighborhood amenities like Chelsea Market and the High Line. But in addition to violating the city’s rules on short-term rentals (which are illegal for stays of 30 days or less unless a resident of the home is also present), the listing may have violated federal housing rules, which don’t allow subletting of Section 8 or rent-controlled subsidized housing. 


In response to news stories about the possibly illegal listing, City Council member Ritchie Torres tweeted that he will look into holding hearings to determine “the extent of Airbnb penetration into NYCHA.” But a spokesperson for the beleaguered public housing authority told the Times that “it’s not a widespread issue.”


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