If I had been able to give my full testimony, this is what I would have said:
Hello, my name is Trudy Ohnsorg.
I have a short-term rental in my home in Saint Paul’s East Side.
I want to thank the City of Saint Paul for its forward-thinking in embracing short term rentals. Here are three reasons to support this stance:
First - short-term rentals stabilize communities:
- Hosts fix up their properties and clean up their neighborhoods.
- Rental income allows homeowners to afford to stay in their homes.
- Hosts act as ambassadors of the city.
- A review from a guest: “Her guide book had so many events, helpful maps, notes, and recommendations that I felt embarrassed to call myself a local because I didn't know about half the stuff in there!”
- After every stay, Airbnb guests and hosts review each other. This provides a much higher level of safety and accountability that is simply not found in any other lodging option.
- Airbnb’s make it possible for families and seniors on fixed incomes to travel comfortably.
- Airbnbs, also, can accommodate unique needs.
- Guest Comment: “Trudy, thank you so much for welcoming us into your beautiful home. I shouldn’t say that the kittens made my vacation… but they kind of did.”
- With short-term rentals, Saint Paul can now offer a variety of lodging options. I strongly recommend that the city include new language that anticipates embracing Accessory Dwelling Units as a way of providing even more flexible housing, and treat them as owner-occupied duplexes in the short-term rental language. Minneapolis has welcomed ADUs since 2014.
Finally: Short-term rentals help people connect. We need connection now, more than ever.
- I’ll let my guests speak for me:
- “It takes a special person to create a home like this one and an even more special one to share it with strangers. I wish the world was filled with kind and generous people like you.” - Pat
- “Trudy, I would like to write something that hasn’t been said before, but I can’t, so thank you, for opening up your beautiful home. It’s been an honor to be your guest. You can tell you put your heart into your home and that you love your city. So thank you once again from the bottom of my heart. You represent the Airbnb community so well and are what it’s all about.” - Nathan
This is not simply transactional.
This is transformational.
People, from around the world, who would have never met each other now connect. We need to foster this new sense of community, this shared and growing understanding that the vast majority of people are essentially good. That it is okay to welcome strangers into your home, because they are simply good, trustworthy people you haven’t met yet.
Airbnb has changed my life. The world has come to my door, and I am grateful for it.