Congressman Adriano Espaillat Slams Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky For Harlem

March 21, 2017

Today, U.S. Congressman Adriano Espaillat issued the following statement and letter to Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky following the company’s announcement of local-led tours through the Harlem neighborhood.

“As a Member of the United States Congress representing New York’s 13th Congressional District that includes Harlem, I am deeply disappointed following the recent Airbnb announcement of the ‘Harlem Experiences’ tour,” said Rep. Espaillat.

“Airbnb’s ‘Harlem Experiences’ platform sounds like it was tailor made to promote the rapid gentrification of our community.  After witnessing Airbnb spend an enormous amount of resources to oppose New Yorkers’ push for stronger affordable housing laws, and after being made aware of the treatment of African American hosts, particularly reports about how black Airbnb hosts make one third of what white hosts make in black neighborhoods, the ‘Harlem Experiences’ tour is further proof of how Airbnb continues to treat our community as nothing more than a source of profit.

“On behalf of the residents in my district, I call upon you to pay serious attention at how your company invests in our community and support ways that increase affordable housing as a necessity for New York residents instead of simplifying and exotifying our community for corporate profit while our residents pay the price.”

Read Rep. Espaillat’s letter to Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky here.

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