Nine members of the City Council are calling on the Clinton Global Initiative to end its partnership with controversial room-sharing startup Airbnb to provide accommodations to AmeriCorps volunteers.
In a letter sent Sept. 24 to Clinton Foundation CEO Eric Braverman, the council members claim that Airbnb is "the leading operator in the illegal hotel industry that is exacerbating the affordable-housing crisis in New York City." They urge Mr. Braverman to reconsider his group's partnership with the company, which was announced Wednesday during CGI's annual global meeting in midtown Manhattan.
"We believe in the Clinton Foundation’s guiding principle that 'we’re all in this together,' " they write. "But it appears Airbnb does not subscribe to this principle, as it is content to flout our laws, put tenants at significant risk, and deal a serious blow to our efforts to make this city more affordable for working New Yorkers."
The letter is signed by council members Helen Rosenthal, Daniel Garodnick, Corey Johnson, Ben Kallos, Rosie Mendez, Brad Lander, Mark Levine, Antonio Reynoso and Ritchie Torres.
An Airbnb spokesman dismissed the claims of the letter writers.
"We are proud to support AmeriCorps and more than 1,000 new corps members as they embark on their service in schools, health centers, parks and communities recovering from disasters across the country," the spokesman said, referring to the national service program launched during the first few years of the Clinton administration.