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Airbnb, ‘Sharing Economy’ Win as Proposition F Crushed

Early election results show that San Franciscans voted overwhelmingly to reject a law limiting Airbnb in the city.

Proposition F would have significantly curtailed the use of so-called short-term rentals in San Francisco to just 75 days. The sharing economy giant reportedly spent an astounding $8M to defeat the proposal, which could have encouraged copycat regulations across the country if successful.

Whether it was the massive campaign, or San Franciscans love of the sharing economy, voters rejected Proposition F by a wide margin. With 41.69% of precincts reporting at 9:45 p.m. PST, 57.77% of voters had voted against Prop F, and only 42.23% in favor. (Update: With 100% of precincts reporting as of 10:45 p.m. PST, 55.06% had voted against Prop F, and only 44.94% in favor.)

The results mirror polling conducted earlier this week by the Ferenstein Wire through Google Surveys (view survey results here).

Critics of Airbnb argue that short-term rentals take around 1,900 available units off the housing market, further exacerbating the city’s sky-high rental costs. Airbnb argues that short-term rentals are a necessary source of income helping residents stay in homes they otherwise could not afford.

Proposition F was a rather bold regulation. Not only did the campaign target a specific tech company (Airbnb), but the law would have granted neighbors expanded powers to sue to each other.

To be sure, the city is still as about as liberal as they come. Early results indicate that voters did pass a new enhanced paternity leave policy for city employees (‘Prop B’). But evidently, regulating what people do with their own homes is too far–even for San Francisco.

*For more stories, subscribe to the Ferenstein Wire newsletter here.

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