Mexico City mayor plans tougher home-sharing regulations

Mexico: Claudia Sheinbaum, the mayor of Mexico City, plans to introduce stricter regulations on Airbnb and other home-sharing sites, just two months after the local government in partnership with the Global Platform and UNESCO to attract more remote workers to the capital.

Speaking at the city’s year-end economic conference last week, Sheinbaum discussed neighborhoods in which residents had raised concerns about rising rents due to the presence of global corporations such as Airbnb, especially in Condesa, Roma, Polanco and the city. center.

Since Mexico City and Airbnb’s partnership was announced in October, residents have taken to the streets to protest housing shortages and the “gentrification” of communities, with some demonstrators gathering outside Mexico City’s Ministry of Urban Development and Housing. . [Seduvi] demand adequate and accessible housing for all citizens.

As a result of this partnership, it was announced that Airbnb would allow more residents of Mexico City and across the country to launch their own tourism “experiences” for tourists. Sheinbaum then admitted that there was no direct correlation between rental prices and Airbnb’s presence, adding that the majority of digital nomads would rather stay in more expensive neighborhoods than some in Mexico City.

Sheinbaum suggests that Mexico City is among the top 20 destinations for digital nomads worldwide, with major tourist hubs such as Dubai, Lisbon and Buenos Aires. The mayor suggested that while she was considering introducing regulations, she still wanted to attract remote workers to her city, especially some of the more than 15 million remote workers in the United States.

Mexico City is also said to be the sixth-largest short-term rental market in the Americas – according to short-term rental data and analytics provider, AirDNA, some 19,000 rental properties are listed on home-sharing platforms in the capital. . [65 per cent of which are entire homes].

In an interview with Bloomberg, Sheinbaum warned that the lack of regulation of Airbnb and other similar platforms in Mexico City could lead to the capital’s rental-only sections condensing and causing “a lot of problems”.

In deciding the best way forward, the mayor revealed that she had spoken to her counterparts in other cities around the world who had also faced similar dilemmas over the future of short-term rentals, including Ada Colau in Barcelonawhere short-term private room rentals are now banned, but entire apartments are legal provided they have the required license.

In April 2021, Airbnb joined other global tourism brands, including Marriott and Hilton, in contributing to a $2.5 billion investment by The World Travel and Tourism Council [WTTC] in the Mexican tourism industry. At the time, it was promised that 100,000 jobs would be created in the country’s tourism industry.

The previous July, however, Mexico City proposed to ban home-sharing platforms under a bill introduced by Leticia Estrada Hernández of the leftist National Regeneration Movement [Morena] reform zoning laws in the capital.

Under the proposed amendment to Section 17 of the Zoning Act, all private residential properties would have been prohibited from engaging in “industrial, commercial or service activities”.

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