Mayor Anne Hidalgo wrote a letter to
International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach in
response to the nine-year deal under which Airbnb will help
provide accommodation for five Olympics and Paralympics events.
Hidalgo told Bach she was writing to alert the IOC about the
"risks and consequences" of the deal with Airbnb, according to
France's Le Monde newspaper, which cited the contents of the
"By taking out a significant number of properties in Paris,
Airbnb is contributing to price rises for housing, and worsening
the shortage of housing in the rental market, penalizing all
Parisians and, in particular, the middle class," Le Monde quoted
Hidalgo as saying in her letter.
Short-term rentals via Airbnb can "cause a nuisance for
residents, destabilize local trade and present tough competition
for the traditional hotel trade," Hidalgo was quoted as saying
in the letter.
Airbnb did not immediately respond to an emailed request for
comment. The Paris mayor's office did not immediately respond to
a request to confirm the authenticity of the letter.
San Francisco-headquartered Airbnb has grown rapidly to become
one of the major players in room rental.
But it has faced a backlash in some cities, where local
politicians say it can push up prices and turn once-vibrant city
neighborhoods into dormitories where many of the properties are
turned over to short-term rentals.
The firm is currently revamping policies to improve trust after
a mass shooting in California last month at a property that was
advertised on the Airbnb online listing service.
Announcing the tie-up with Airbnb, the IOC president said it
would help host cities save and make the games more feasible and
Airbnb co-founder Joe Gebbia said he hoped the partnership would
help leave a "positive legacy for athletes and host
communities," as well as give benefits for the company, such as
integrated booking of accommodation with online ticket
(Reporting by Christian Lowe, editing by Louise Heavens)
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