In 2007, we started Airbnb for a simple reason: Joe and I couldn’t afford to pay our rent. Faced with this challenge, we came up with our own solution to share our space. As a result, we were able to pay our rent and make new friends.

When we decided to turn this idea into something more, many people told us it would never work. But Airbnb grew, and today, we have nearly 2 million homes that allow guests to live like locals and for hosts to earn much needed income.

When we started Airbnb, we couldn’t have anticipated all the ways hosts would use our platform. We are proud of almost all of the activity that happens on our platform every day. But it’s become clear that we need to clarify what we will and will not tolerate in our community.

At the highest level, Airbnb is committed to strengthening the neighborhoods and cities we serve. Last year, I laid this out in a vision which I coined the Shared City. In it, we imagined what could be possible when we worked with cities to embrace sharing.

These principles have helped us forge strong partnerships with cities all over the globe — Amsterdam to San Jose, Paris to Philadelphia. And just last week, voters in San Francisco, CA, and Boulder, CO, backed home sharing.

Today, we’re taking the next step to turn these principles into concrete actions by releasing the Airbnb Community Compact. There are three commitments that are part of this Compact:

  1. We are committed to treating every city personally and helping ensure our community pays its fair share of hotel and tourist taxes.
  2. We are committed to being transparent with our data and information and we will help cities understand the home sharing activity in their community while simultaneously honoring our commitment to protect our hosts’ and guests’ privacy.
  3. In cities where there is a shortage of long-term housing, we are committed to working with our community to prevent short-term rentals from impacting the availability of long term housing by ensuring hosts agree to a policy of listing only  permanent homes on a short-term basis.

This Compact is just one step we are taking to help the cities that our hosts and guests call home. We also understand that it will take time to implement these provisions, as we go city by city. However, we believe the Community Compact will help provide a series of tangible actions that we can take to ensure home sharing makes communities around the world even stronger.


This post was written by Airbnb CEO and co-founder Brian Chesky. Follow Brian’s articles on Medium or on Twitter @BChesky