Airbnb debate continues in Raleigh

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RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Airbnb will once again be a hot topic for the city of Raleigh. On Thursday, the city’s citizen task force is meeting for the second time to discuss what the future holds for the short-term rental business.

For the past year Mike Shumake has been welcoming guests into his home.

“We’ve lived here four years,” said Schmake. “We love it, love the area and property values are still going up, so it’d be a mistake to sell, but at same time there’s a lot of money tied into it for us and we don’t want to rent it full time in the upstairs while we live in the downstairs.”

Shumake is an Airbnb host. He uses the money he makes renting out the top floor of his home to run a nonprofit.

“Time is money,” said Shumake. “We make money for the Airbnb. It gives us time as a result and that time we’re then able to give away and the produce project has given over 10,000 pounds of produce to families in need in Raleigh in 2016. “

Since Raleigh has no laws on the books allowing it, Airbnb is technically illegal, but city officials say they’re giving hosts more time to comply with the laws while they come up with regulations.

“(What) we’re focusing on right now is creating regulations that make sense for the city of Raleigh,” said Travis Crane, assistant planning director. “Obviously, we want to accommodate technological advances that happen, so we’re focusing on the regulations first then trying to adopt the technology to go along with it.”

The city came up with a citizen task force to decide on the best way to regulate the practice.

“I think that the city of Raleigh right now is trying to make a good decision around sort of making the most people in the city happy,” Shumake said.

The citizen task force is supposed to meet four times before they bring their opinion back to the city council.

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