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Airbnb Suffered a Big Defeat in Jersey City. Here’s What That Means.

On Tuesday, Jersey City residents voted overwhelmingly in favor of stricter regulations on short-term rentals that will almost certainly shrink the number of Airbnb listings in New Jersey’s second-largest city.

The new restrictions were a major defeat for Airbnb as it prepares to go public and the latest in a string of laws that cities around the world have passed to regulate the home-sharing industry’s explosive growth.

The Jersey City regulations gained steam following concerns that the platform’s 3,000 listings, many run by large-scale investors, were pushing often-unruly tourists into residential areas, helping shoot up housing costs and accelerate gentrification.

The company collected enough signatures to trigger the referendum and devoted $4.2 million to fend off the new rules, betting it could outspend its opponents by hiring political consultants and pollsters, and investing heavily in mailers and TV spots.


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