In a letter to the editor, Jersey City resident and Airbnb host Anand Jagadeesan explains how beneficial his short-term rentals have been to his family and why he supports placing a referendum question on the November 5th ballot.
I moved to Jersey City Heights from India twenty years ago. I came to this country for a better living, and because I’ve loved the idea that this is the land of opportunity. America embodies the entrepreneurial spirit.
In 2016 my son, who was in college at the time, told me about Airbnb. My family was having a hard time trying to find a tenant in our two family home, and so we decided to give it a try.
Before starting my venture into short-term rentals, I researched all of the local laws, and checked with Jersey City to ensure that I was in fact following the law.
The money we made from our Airbnb was able to help provide income that we needed for my family.
One of my children has a disability, and because of the money we earn on Airbnb, we are able to provide our child with medical services like music therapy that aren’t necessarily covered by our insurance.
My family decided to make an investment and buy a second property. Due to the legality of short term rentals, we thought this would be a great way to continue to save for our children’s future.
Now that the City Council has passed this ordinance, my family is at a serious loss. Even with my full-time job, I’m not sure how we will be able to afford the things our family needs without our short-term rental income.
I am in full support of the referendum campaign in Jersey City — to challenge this short-sighted ordinance — because there are thousands more Jersey City residents like me who need to continue to provide for our families.
By bringing this issue directly to the people, I hope that we can save our community and find a reasonable and fair path toward regulating short-term rentals.
Jersey City resident and Airbnb host