Airbnb will soon become legal in Portland, Ore., after city leaders agreed to issue licenses that will allow people to rent out their bedrooms.
“We are thrilled that Portland is joining the ranks of innovative cities around the world that are moving forward and embracing the sharing economy,” Airbnb wrote in a blog post. “Portland was home to some of the very first Airbnb hosts and staff, and it is only fitting that the city would serve as a leader in the sharing economy.”
The new legislation, which still prohibits those in multi-family buildings from renting rooms, makes sense considering the relationship between Airbnb and Portland. In April, Airbnb announced a new long-term initiative called “Shared City,” and picked Portland as its first destination. One month earlier, Airbnb announced plans to open up their North American operational headquarters in downtown Portland, with room for up to 160 employees.
As lawmakers work to allow Airbnb to conduct business in the Rose City, the attention now turns to how Portland will handle another “sharing economy” company: Uber.
The Portland Bureau of Transportation is currently discussing how and if transportation startups like Uber, Lyft, and Sidecar should be allowed. Existing regulations have kept the companies away from Portland, and while Uber has opened up operations in locations that don’t allow its service, for whatever reason it has been cautious with Oregon’s biggest city.
That could change, though. Uber this month launched its UberX service in two other Oregon towns and has put up more than 300 postings on the Portland Craigslist job board. The company also began operating in Vancouver, Wash., a town just a few miles north of Portland. Uber’s main competitor, Lyft, also put up Craigslist job postings in Portland in June.