Davidson Responds

Eugene Weekly published two letters (12/19 and 12/26) referring to my status as an Airbnb host. The authors also had some things to say about Airbnb and the rental market. I appreciate the opportunity to clarify.

Here are some facts to get out of the way so we can address the principal drivers of our housing crisis:

I rent rooms in my home, short-term, through Airbnb, and long-term on month-to-month leases.

Approximately 35,000 houses are available for rent in Eugene (WorldpPopulationReview.com), and 402 (AirDNA.co) are short-term rentals. Of those, 270 are non-owner occupied (AirDNA.co). This represents less than 1 percent of rental inventory. Airbnb pays transient room tax to Eugene. In 2018, this totaled $1.23 million (AirDNA.co).

The city of Eugene incorrectly reported that Expedia, Priceline and TripAdvisor buy properties and convert them to STRs. The  have since admitted their mistake.

Airbnb hosts include renters, artists, stay-at-home parents, retirees and people paying their bills. The fastest growing host demographic is senior women.

What are some significant causes of our housing shortage? Since the 1980s, the federal government has disinvested in human services and affordable housing. In addition to exclusionary zoning laws, Eugene has hefty system development charges and an outdated occupancy ordinance. We’ve also had an increase in people coming here.

We can’t ban people from coming, nor should we. But we can have a productive, respectful discussion about how best to address the demand for the variety of housing our growing population requires.

Kate Davidson

Eugene City Council Ward 2 candidate