Last week, Parisian politician Ian Brossat made headlines by proposing a blanket ban on Airbnb being used in the city, he said: “Do we want Paris to be a city which the middle classes can afford, or do we want it to be a playground for Saudi or American billionaires?”
Brossat then explained that Paris had lost in excess of 20,000 homes over the past five years due to Airbnb: “If we don’t regulate Airbnb, we will no longer have citizens in our city centres,” he added.
It is already illegal to list a home as a vacation rental for more than 120 days out of the years in Paris.
Now, Chris Lehane, head of policy at Airbnb, has explained how he is prepared to fight Brossat’s claims. “I know from surveys and polling that we are exceptionally popular in France at large and in Paris,” Lehane told AFP. “Taking on an issue where 20% of the people support you and 80% oppose you is not a winning political hand.”
Addressing Brossat’s quotes directly, Lehane said, “all we ask is for the company to respect French law.”
With more than 60,000 properties available for rent, Paris is one of Airbnb’s largest profit drivers.