There won’t be any Council action this month on two competing plans to regulate room-sharing businesses like Airbnb in Chicago. The Council’s License Committee released its agenda for next week’s meeting, noting both plans will be immediately referred to a joint License and Housing committee meeting. The time and date of that meeting is still unknown, a legislative aide for the License Committee told Aldertrack.
In January, Mayor Rahm Emanuel introduced an ordinance on behalf of the Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection that would regulate the industry and bring in an estimated $1 million in revenue.
The money would come from a 2% surcharge on the booking of any shared-housing unit, bed-and-breakfast or vacation rental. Hosts and house-sharing companies would be required to register their units with the city. Units that are rented out more than 90 nights a year would be required to register as a licensed bed-and-breakfast or vacation rental. Liability insurance would be required for all rental units. Airbnb, VRBO, and other companies that facilitate transactions between hosts and renters would have to receive a new “short-term residential intermediary license.”
“This new license will require the companies to provide the city with the information and data it needs to effectively monitor and regulate this new license type and compliance with city ordinance,” according to the Mayor’s Office. Revenue generated from the proposal would be used toward initiatives to “promote affordable housing, with a focus on reducing homelessness among families with children.” North Side Aldermen Ameya Pawar (47) and Joe Moore (49), who also chairs the Council’s Housing Committee, are co-sponsors.
The following month, Aldermen Anthony Napolitano (41), Pat O’Connor (40) and Marge Laurino (39) co-sponsored a similar ordinance, but aimed at restricting rentals in single family homes. Their plan includes the 2% surcharge on roomshare stays that would go toward affordable housing initiatives the Mayor’s ordinance has, in addition to proposing a ban on renting out apartments in multiple transactions for overlapping periods, or renting less than the whole space during a single transaction.