Airbnb announced Wednesday that it plans to establish 100 home-sharing clubs across the country next year to advocate its services and block regulatory crackdowns, Reuters reported. The news came one day after San Francisco voters rejected a proposition Tuesday that would have placed stricter regulations on home-sharing services.
Backers of the amendment titled Proposition F criticized Airbnb because they said the company's share-economy concept caused a surge in housing prices in an already expensive city and aggravated homelessness. But other San Franciscans said the service helped make high local housing costs more affordable as the city faces a housing crisis.
In San Francisco, residents can rent their residences for 90 days annually if they are not present and an unlimited amount of time if they are. Proposition F would have limited the number to 75 days, even if the owner is present.
Airbnb spent more than $8.3 million to defeat the initiative, and argued that its services are beneficial for middle class residents.
"Home sharing is making it possible for thousands of middle-class families to make ends meet and stay in the city,” Christopher Nulty, a spokesman for Airbnb, told Wired.
Protest at Airbnb https://t.co/DjCOkmTlGt
— Julia Carrie Wong (@juliacarriew) November 2, 2015
Airbnb executives said the clubs would build upon the San Francisco campaign to prevent the initiative from passing. The clubs will be headed by hosts and guests involved with the site.
"We're going to use the momentum of what took place here to do what we did in San Francisco around the world," said Chris Lehane, the company's global policy chief.