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Lawsuit alleges racial discrimination by hosts using Austin-based STR company

The woman says the homeowner cancelled her request, but she could still see the property was available during the days she initially requested. Days later, the homeowner's agent said the owner "did not rent to [her] kind.” (MGN Online)

A new case was filed against two Austin-based short-term rental companies.

An African American woman from Washington is suing Austin-based Homeaway and VRBO after she says the homeowner cancelled her request once she provided personal information, specifically her race.

The plaintiff says she was planning a trip to New York in October, and used the site's "instant book," looking for a cheaper option.

The woman says the homeowner cancelled her request, but she could still see the property was available during the days she initially requested. Days later, the homeowner's agent said the owner "did not rent to [her] kind.”

Earlier this month, Airbnb fielded several complaints nationwide that hosts have discriminated against potential clients based on their race or sexual orientation. Airbnb has responded by developing racial sensitivity training for its employees and hosts.

The company responded by enforcing a policy that will not allow homeowners discriminate on race or sexual orientation:

We believe that no matter who you are, where you are from, or where you travel, you should be able to belong in the Airbnb community. By joining this community, you commit to treat all fellow members of this community, regardless of race, religion, national origin, disability, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation or age, with respect, and without judgment or bias.

To read the full lawsuit:

HOMEAWAY, VRBO


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