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Airbnb promotes income disparity, curbs rental market, union-backed study finds

In New York, where the Hotel Trades Council is influential and affordable housing is a chief concern for voters, most Democratic politicians are unwilling to embrace the online company, which is pushing for changes in Albany.

The report, funded by the politically influential hotel workers union, portrays Airbnb as an enterprise that exacerbates income inequality, benefits white hosts who own homes in predominantly black and Hispanic neighborhoods, and renders thousands of apartments unavailable in a city starved for housing.

The analysis found many of the apartments removed from permanent rental stock are in neighborhoods undergoing development waves.

"Airbnb's business model has been particularly controversial because it so clearly flouts existing housing and land-use regulations in many or even most of the cities in which it operates, and does so in a fashion which appears to undermine policies aimed at protecting the supply of affordable housing," the report states.

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