AUSTIN (KXAN) — Airbnb, in partnership with nine apartment complexes, has brought its program aimed at enabling renters to offer their apartments as short-term rentals (STR) to Central Texas.

The program is “Airbnb-friendly Apartments” and launched in November 2022 in 25 markets. Now, that program has expanded to 40 markets in under a year.

Airbnb Global Director of Real Estate Jesse Stein said that this program is aimed at allowing primary residents to offer their units.

“There’s 45 million rental rentals in the United States, [and] the overwhelming majority of those rentals today do not allow the residents to Airbnb their homes part time to potentially keep up with the cost of living,” Stein said.

The company said that more than 2,900 apartment units in the nine complexes will participate. Those complexes include:

  • Seven, at 615 W 7th St, Austin;
  • Barton Creek Landing, at 2800 Bartons Bluff Ln, Austin;
  • Avana SoCo, at 401 Little Texas Ln, Austin;
  • Ladera Apartment Homes, at 7500 S I-35 Frontage Rd, Austin;
  • Lantana Hills, at 7601 Rialto Blvd, Austin;
  • The Residences at The Domain, at 11400 Domain Dr, Austin;
  • Lakeline Villas, 2201 South Lakeline Blvd, Cedar Park;
  • Red Stone Ranch, at 1600 South Lakeline Blvd, Cedar Park; and,
  • Hays Park, at 828 Bebee Rd, Kyle.

However, this doesn’t mean that entire complexes are turning into Airbnbs, Stein said.

“The partners provide the opportunity for residents who signed 12-month leases to host part time, so realistically, there’s no host to begin. Over time, maybe 5% or 10% of the residents or 10% of the residents…may opt to host part time,” Stein said. “The fabric of the community is still residential, and it will always stay residential. It just provides the residents with an amenity…the ability to host part time when they travel. By no means are we taking housing out of the market, we’re actually providing the residents the opportunity to keep up with the cost of living.”

Mechanically, the program provides lease language that allows residents to offer a STR for a period defined in the lease. STR Guests will have access to community amenities provided at a complex, such as swimming pools and gym space.

For each complex, the company provides an estimated average for the smallest available unit and assuming an Airbnb guest is staying there for a week. The median estimate for these units is around $605 per week, but the company claims that it can range as high as $1,359.

“The core of the program is really to provide renters that same ability as homeowners, to make some extra income on their cost of housing,” Stein said. “The cost of housing continues to go up. Unfortunately, until we build more supply, that’s not going to change materially. So this provides the renters the ability to keep up with that cost of living.”