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Affordable Housing: In My Home

There are many categories of needs for affordable housing.

  • By length of time: permanent, short term and transient.

  • By demographic: families and singles, seniors and young professionals, immigrants, refugees and students.

  • By cost: subsidized and affordable.

My experience as an Airbnb host in my home, where I have lived with my guests from around the world, prepared me in a unique way to serve as your councilmember from the perspective of affordable housing. Not only does this arrangement make short-term stays affordable for guests, it may also make it possible for an owner to remain in their home.

In Takoma Park we have a category called OOGH or Owner Occupied Group Home. My home falls in that category since I've offered short-term, low-cost housing to students, interns, young professionals and elders visiting relatives for seven years with a break for COVID. I guess I follow in the footsteps of my great-grandmother, Jessie Forbes-Wallace. From her home on Baltimore Ave, she offered rooms to students attending Bliss Electrical College, which was later assimilated into Montgomery College.

Licensing of Airbnb in Takoma Park

If you offer housing where the owner and renter share common areas (kitchen, living room, bathroom) you must secure an OOGH license. This designation applies to both condominiums and single-family homes. To make sure that the living arrangement is safe for both renter and owner, an inspection is required.

Airbnbs, even if the owner is away for the summer, fall under this category.

As an Airbnb SuperHost I made sure that my inspections were up-to-date and my home clean, comfortable and safe.

Inspect what you expect is one of my mottos. I would uphold code enforcement for rental housing of any kind for the safety or renters as well as that of the property owner.

I've hosted and made friends with guests from Brazil to Ukraine, from Kazakhstan to Turkey, from the Netherlands to North Dakota. Each pin represents a guest.

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