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Home sharing provides economic opportunity for 2,200 N.H. hosts

To The Daily Sun,

I am writing in response to a story that appeared in the Daily Sun on Feb. 14, headlined, "Lawmakers struggling with how, or if, to regulate Airbnb operations in N.H."

Airbnb is proud to provide Granite State residents with the opportunity to earn supplemental income by sharing their own homes. In the last year, 2,200 hosts welcomed over 100,000 guests to the state, with the typical host earning $5,400 by renting their space for fewer than three nights a month.

By and large, these hosts are not full-time businesses running commercial operations. They are everyday people opening their homes from time to time to travelers.

Moreover, 62 percent of New Hampshire hosts are women and over half are over the age of 50, highlighting how many hosts use supplemental income from extra bedrooms to "age in place" in the neighborhoods they call home.

From the White Mountains to the shore, home sharing has been part of the New Hampshire way of life for generations. However, home sharing has also come a long way since the days of classified ads and cash payment.

In fact, Airbnb has pioneered cutting-edge policies to ensure that home sharing is safe and secure, from criminal background checks on hosts and guests and a Verified ID system, to two overlapping $1 million insurance policies that protect hosts, guests, and neighbors in the rare event of injury or theft, and a special "Neighbors" platform to allow residents to file complaints 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Furthermore, in states across the region — including Vermont, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and (soon) Maine — Airbnb is doing its part to support core public services by collecting and remitting sales and lodging taxes on behalf of its guests and hosts. We want to do the same thing in the Granite State and are actively working with the state's Department of Revenue Administration to secure an agreement that would allow us to do so.

We are proud of our community we've built in New Hampshire and look forward to continuing to work with officials and communities to foster the economic opportunity that home sharing provides.

Andrew L. Kalloch

Airbnb

San Francisco

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Thanks for the 'melt down' explanation but I didn't hear an apology

To The Daily Sun,

Apparently, in the arrogant world of Al Blake, the fact that you own up to your boorish behavior should absolve you of any criticism. While I can appreciate the honesty of one who recognizes his/her mistakes in judgment, it doesn't negate the threatening behavior that was perpetrated on an unsuspecting town employee.

In his letter Mr. Blake talks of "admitted loss of temper," "use of an expletive or two" and "raising his voice" (referring to the perpetrator). The one glaring omission Mr. Blake seems to overlook is — an apology. Instead, this individual blames his outburst on a conspiracy theory in which selectmen conspire to deprive him of information he has requested under "Right to Know."

For whatever reason, other than to malign my character, Mr. Blake deems it necessary to highlight my subversive activities as an associate of a "special interest group" — the Gilmanton Year-Round Library. I stand guilty as charged. I work with other dedicated individuals to help communicate to the residents, the underlying values that strong community connections, information, education, and shared community space matter. I'm sure Mr. Blake would find it less offensive if I were threatening and bullying town employees.

In the spirit of full disclosure and the updating of my nefarious behavior, I feel it necessary to let Mr. Blake know that my family and I recently celebrated birthdays at the Gilmanton Winery. Sunny and Marshal were gracious hosts, the brunch was delicious and plentiful, and Ellen, our waitress, couldn't have been more attentive and accommodating.

While Mr. Blake takes exception to my voicing views on Mr. Lavin's meltdown at Town Hall, he seems to have no qualms in using Mr. Lavin as a political pawn in launching into demonizing attacks against town selectmen for perceived misdoings.

Gilmanton is a wonderful community, with issues that confront many small towns, but if you read Mr. Blake often enough you'd think we were on the eve of destruction. As another contributor suggested, "Light some candles," Al.

Jack Schaffnit
Gilmanton

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