Increase in Airbnb rentals linked to more crime in some Boston neighborhoods, new study finds

An increase in crime in some Boston neighborhoods was linked to an increase in Airbnb rentals in those neighborhoods over several years, according to a new study. Need pix

An increase in violence in some Boston neighborhoods appears to be linked to an increase in Airbnb rentals in those neighborhoods over several years, according to a study released this month.

The study was published on July 14 by researchers at Northeastern University in Boston, reported on Friday.

Since the increase in violent crime occurred several years after the introduction of Airbnb rentals in the region, researchers have linked the rise in crime to a disruption in the social dynamics in communities created by the increase. short term rentals, not an increase in tourism.

“The prevalence of Airbnb in a neighborhood appears to be associated with an increase in violence, but not with public social unrest or private conflict,” the study found.

Airbnb representatives did not immediately return Insider’s request for comment on Saturday.

According to the study, there were more than 6,000 Airbnb rentals in Boston in 2018, more than double the city’s number in 2014, according to the study.

“What’s interesting about social organization is that it’s not really about going to other people’s homes for barbecues in the backyard, it’s not about knowing all your neighbors,” he said. Daniel O’Brien, one of the researchers who conducted the study, told “It’s as little as being familiar strangers.”

Airbnb in a blog post last week appeared to defend against the claims presented by the researchers.

“The study examines a handful of districts in Boston alone, then extrapolates that into generalizations nationwide without providing detailed evidence,” the company said.

Airbnb also claimed the researchers used “inaccurate data” and “flawed methodology” to reach their conclusions, arguing that the researchers were not controlling for other variables, such as new construction in neighborhoods and “economic conditions. global “.

“Over the past year and more, various reports point to the unfortunate trend of increasing crime in many US cities (although travel and tourism, including short-term rentals, have suffered in the markets. There are many complex issues that contribute to increases and decreases in crime rates that require serious research to help inform and guide public policy work, ”the company said in the blog post.

He added: “As a company, we should be working to advance serious research. In this context, Airbnb will officially contact Northeastern University to express our concerns about the lack of academic rigor in this article and to learn more about the protocols. that the University strives to ensure the quality of research carried out by those associated with the school. “

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