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Jersey City fights Airbnb war fueled by NYC crackdown

Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Airbnb crackdown in the Big Apple has pushed the battle over short-term rentals across the Hudson River to Jersey City, where voters will decide Nov. 5 whether to regulate them in their neighborhoods.

In New York City, most short-term rentals are illegal unless the permanent tenant is also living in the apartment. De Blasio has poured $6 million into enforcement of illegal listings during his tenure.

Consequently, there are now 3,000 Airbnb rentals in Jersey City, many of which are marketed to tourists visiting the Big Apple and controlled by commercial operators with multiple listings instead of individual property owners, according to the independent data website Inside Airbnb.

The measure on the Jersey City ballot next month will allow residents to vote on regulations that would impose an annual 60-day rental limit for property owners who don’t live on site, require a $500,000 home-insurance policy of them and implement city code inspections every three years.

Staci Berger, president of the nonprofit Housing and Community Development Network of New Jersey, said the regulations are necessary to protect affordable rents in Jersey City, since such short-term rentals eat up the overall housing market.


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