Shedding light on short-term rentals in Chinatown
A recent article in Pacific Standard examined the impact of short-term rentals, like Airbnb, on Boston’s Chinatown. The recent boom of short-term rentals in the neighborhood have displaced residents and shifted the neighborhood’s culture and demographics.
This ongoing gentrification of Chinatown’s “historically working-class immigrant community in the heart of the city” by short-term rentals is threatening to wipe out the cultural identity of Chinatown.
Karen Chen, the executive director of the Chinese Progressive Association told the magazine, “We’re losing housing for long-term residents—and not just low-income housing, [but] housing in general—faster than we can build them,” explaining that the issue is affecting all residents of the neighborhood, including working-class residents and young professionals. Life-long resident Chu Huang, stated, “[Chinatown] should be a viable community where people do not just come in and act like tourists and then leave.”
The article also highlights the ordinance introduced by Mayor Marty Walsh in January that would place restrictions on short-term rentals as well as another bill that is currently being considered by the state legislature that would regulate and tax short-term rentals in the city.