Ironically, an Airbnb senior global policy manager who is on leave while he runs for office — Andrew Kalloch — wants to replace Representative Peter DeFazio in Congress. (Until redistricting, Rep. Kurt Schrader represented us in Congress.)
Amid a housing crisis along the entire Oregon coast, short-term vacation rentals (STRs or VRDs) have made it even harder for people to find housing. Despite multiple studies showing that Airbnb reduces long-term housing supply and harms communities like ours, Kalloch has traveled the country lobbying local governments not to regulate short-term rentals.
He must be tone-deaf to have told a Lincoln County audience that STRs don’t affect long-term housing or artificially inflate our housing prices by commodifying and commercializing workforce housing. The increasing property taxes will soon affect the ability of people on fixed incomes to remain in their homes.
The 10,080 voters who said yes to Measure 21-203 know that neither property managers nor government enforcement can control these nuisances in residential neighborhoods, no matter what Kalloch claims.
Voters knew that these internet-based service firms don't provide family-wage jobs for their principal employees like housekeepers and landscapists. In Lincoln County, there is no credible evidence that these firms make our economy stronger, despite what Kalloch says.
Because 24 STR owners and property managers, of whom only three are Lincoln County residents, sued the county, we know that someone is making real money, but it is not us.
As an Airbnb executive, Kalloch has spent several years lobbying against laws like Ballot Measure 21-203, most recently in New York City.
Kalloch fails to mention his employer in his stump speech or website. The Oregon Capital Chronicle outed him in its Dec. 15, 2021 issue. His wife is the fourth generation Oregonian, not Kalloch, who bootstrapped his way to Eugene. According to the Commonwealth's public records, he registered as an Airbnb lobbyist in Massachusetts as late as 2018. He may have changed his tune to run for Congress, but a brief review of his campaign finances reveals a slew of donations from other corporate executives. Somehow, Kalloch claims to be a champion for affordable housing and working families. His record says otherwise.
I don't trust an Airbnb executive to protect our housing supply, and I certainly don't trust someone who misrepresents his history before he followed his wife to Oregon in 2016.
Kalloch will not be receiving my vote for Congress, and I urge other Lincoln County voters to follow my lead.