The Rhode Island Short-Term Rental Association (RISTRA) was recently launched as a way to unify the voice of homeowners. "People think of Airbnb and Vrbo as these huge corporations that own the homes, but those are just platforms that make it more accessible for people to rent their homes out," said Greer Gagnier, executive director of the group. "What we've really learned is that these people are regular Rhode Islanders. We're your neighbors, your friends, and your co-workers, and we just wanted to bring everyone together." As of Tuesday, a few dozen STR homeowners have joined RISTRA. The group's founding comes as dozens of bills involving STRs have been introduced at the State House this session. RISTRA's website even lists 17 proposed pieces of legislation that it "currently opposes." A handful of them would allow cities and towns to increase taxes, add more regulations, and potentially pave the way for a possible ban on rentals. "It would crush Rhode Island homeowners. Some people do this just so they can have a supplemental income to pay for their homes," Gagnier said.
NBC 10 NEWS (05/09/23) Cal Dymowski