Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Stay on top of the latest market trends

Subscribe to Axios Markets for the latest market trends and economic insights. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sports news worthy of your time

Binge on the stats and stories that drive the sports world with Axios Sports. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tech news worthy of your time

Get our smart take on technology from the Valley and D.C. with Axios Login. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Get the inside stories

Get an insider's guide to the new White House with Axios Sneak Peek. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Denver news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Des Moines news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Twin Cities news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Tampa Bay news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Charlotte news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

San Francisco street. Photo: Andia/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Airbnb this week acquired Urbandoor, a company that provides "corporate rentals" for business travelers and new employees, typically rented for anywhere between a month to a year.

Why it matters: Airbnb, long-acquainted with tensions around home-sharing and short-term rentals, is now stepping into the latest housing controversy in its hometown of San Francisco.

The big picture: Furnished rentals for business travelers are nothing new. But local press reports that startup Sonder has inked a deal to operate most of the rental units in a new building in downtown San Francisco has brought the issue to the forefront.

What they're saying: Critics, including some San Francisco legislators, say that these companies are using a "loophole" in local regulations by having a minimum stay of 30 days to avoid the label of short-term rentals. At the same time, they're marketed as flexible and ideal for renters that only need housing for a few months.

  • “What we need is housing for people who will make San Francisco their home, who will enroll their children in our schools, who will become members of the community," San Francisco Supervisor Hillary Ronen in a statement to the SF Examiner. "Instead, developers are taking advantage of our efforts to streamline and expedite construction, and what does it get us? Not housing, that’s what.”

The other side: The companies argue there's a need for this type of medium-term housing.

  • "Year-long leases aren’t for everyone, including many long-term residents," said a Sonder spokesman to Axios via email. "As society becomes increasingly mobile and demands more flexibility, we believe agreeing to live in one place for twelve months at a time will become a thing of the past entirely."
  • He added that the company only operates in new or adaptive reuse buildings in appropriately zoned neighborhoods.

An Airbnb spokesman told Axios that the company is committed to helping protect affordable housing. Zeus Living, another San Francisco-based corporate rentals startup, did not respond to a request for comment.

Quick take: There's a growing number of renters looking for unconventional lease terms. Case in point, this San Francisco-based reporter received multiple inquiries from people looking for housing for just a few months in response to a recent ad looking for a long-term roommate.

The bottom line: In cities with severe shortages, controversies around housing are deeply emotional and delicate, regardless of whether companies are following local laws.

Editor's note: The story has been updated to correct that Sonder will operate most of the new downtown SF building's units (not that most of the company's units are in that building).

Go deeper

House passes sweeping election and anti-corruption bill

Photo: Win McNamee via Getty Images

The House voted 220-210Wednesday to pass Democrats' expansive election and anti-corruption bill.

Why it matters: Expanding voting access has been a top priority for Democrats for years, but the House passage of the For the People Act (H.R. 1) comes as states across the country consider legislation to rollback voting access in the aftermath of former President Trump's loss.

Updated 4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

House passes George Floyd Justice in Policing Act

Photo: Stephen Maturen via Getty Images

The House voted 220 to 212 on Wednesday evening to pass a policing bill named for George Floyd, the Black man whose death in Minneapolis last year led to nationwide protests against police brutality and racial injustice.

Why it matters: The legislation overhauls qualified immunity for police officers, bans chokeholds at the federal level, prohibits no-knock warrants in federal drug cases and outlaws racial profiling.

5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Senate Republicans plan to exact pain before COVID relief vote

Sen. Ron Johnson. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Republicans are demanding a full, 600-page bill reading — and painful, multi-hour "vote-a-rama" — as Democrats forge ahead with their plan to pass President Biden's $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package.

Why it matters: The procedural war is aimed at forcing Democrats to defend several parts the GOP considers unnecessary and partisan. While the process won't substantially impact the final version of the mammoth bill, it'll provide plenty of ammunition for future campaign messaging.