LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Vanessa Johnson lives in a converted garage while renting out her home in South Los Angeles.

She’s been an Airbnb host for five years and says it allowed her to care for her husband with cancer before he died.

“Financially I need Airbnb, I spent the last years of my work life taking care of others, now this house on Airbnb takes care of me,” Johnson said.

She was one of the first people in a very long line at City Hall Tuesday where people packed the room to explain why they are for or against new restrictions on short-term rentals.

The city is considering limiting the number of rooms hosts can rent out. Capping the nights to share their homes to 180 per year and banning rentals in second homes.

There were passionate opinions on both sides of this hot button issue. Some similar to Johnson’s, and those ready for change.

“I support a reasonable cap of 90 days, I’m tired of illegal short-term rentals in our community, taking rentals from the market,” one in favor of the cap said.

“My family and myself we had to move to the City of Ingelwood, why? Because the cost of living here in LA is too high,” one against the cap said.

Airbnb sent a statement saying in part:

House sharing continues to play an important role in the local economy, spreading more than $1 billion in new economic activity to corners of the city that have never benefited from tourism before.

Vannessa Johnson agrees:

“My guests, when they hear about South Central, and they stay in this neighborhood, they realize, these are people just like anywhere else.”

City council members say they need more information to make a decision.


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