Paris’s city council member in charge of housing wants to ban Airbnb and other homesharing sites from the French capital.
“Do we want Paris to be a city which the middle classes can afford, or do we want it to be a playground for Saudi or American billionaires?” Ian Brossat told Agence France Presse.
For the past four years, Brossat has been in charge of housing in the French capital. In a new book, published in France on Thursday, Brossat is pushing a plan of action: banning vacation rentals from the city center and also the purchase of second homes throughout Paris. He said that Paris has lost 20,000 homes over the past five years due to Airbnb and other homesharing sites. “If we don’t regulate Airbnb, we will no longer have citizens in our city centers,” Brossat told Le Parisien.
In Paris, it’s already illegal to list a home as a vacation rental for more than 120 days out of the year. Earlier this year, the city of Paris filed a lawsuit against Airbnb for failing to remove undocumented listings from their site.
The neighborhoods surrounding the Louvre and the Opera Garnier (the 1st and 2nd arrondissements) are particularly susceptible to becoming vacation rental hotbeds. About one-quarter of the lodgings in four of Paris’s centermost neighborhoods are being used as homeshares.
Instead, Brossat wants to “reinforce the presence of two or three-star hotels with rates comparable to the tourist apartments.”
Paris would follow a string of many other European cities if it were to implement stricter regulations on short-term vacation rentals. Earlier this year, Madrid banned homesharing platforms from the city center, Valencia blocked vacation rentals from overtaking apartments with the best views and Palma, and Mallorca required all homeshares to apply for a license. Earlier this week, a tenants’ union in Florence announced that homesharing services had displaced almost 500 residents in nine months.