Portland, Oregon Moves Ahead to License airbnb Rentals in Apartments and Condos

City ready to OK short-term rentals in apartments, condos

From the Portland Tribune, December 4, 2014

The Portland City Council is poised to “roll the dice” on an expansion of Airbnb-style rentals into apartments and condos, hoping it doesn’t do much to worsen the city’s affordable housing shortage.

Portland Mayor Charlie Hales said at a recent council work session that his colleagues are close to agreement on his proposal to legalize short-term rentals in multifamily properties. That would allow tenants in apartments, and condo owners or tenants, to rent rooms on a nightly basis to tourists and other visitors, if they have their landlord’s or homeowners’ association permission.

Hales doesn’t deny that short-term rentals will reduce the stock of affordable housing, but argues that Airbnb-style operations already are occurring here, even if illegal, and the impact isn’t likely to be significant.

At a recent City Council work session, Hales said there are about 80,000 multifamily units in Portland, and about 500 of those are now used by Airbnb hosts to rent out rooms. Developers have added about 5,000 multifamily units in Portland this year alone, Hales said, estimating that about 2,000 of those are affordable housing.