This is interesting -- the City Paper reports that our area is one of the most popular places for Airbnb stays in the city. The service, which lets people rent out their places to others, wrote that the city had over 125,000 bookings this summer, and Columbia Heights was the third most-popular area of the city, behind the Hill and H Street.
It makes sense -- there's a lot to do in our area and not many hotels. You're near the Metro, buses and Bikeshare and it's walkable to cool areas like U Street and Shaw, and there are lots of housing -- single family houses, apartments, condos and some carriage houses. (Ironically, the City Paper article was written by the guy who wrote the article saying that Columbia Heights is terrible and bad and dangerous and on the decline. All the visitors and folks renting their places may disagree.)
Airbnb has also been expanding how they operate lately, doing things like hiring city guides who help people who want to host, enlisting "superhosts" who, for a fee, handle all the details for renting your place, and organizing tours where hosts visit local businesses so that they can get to know and recommend places for guests to go and also offer some coupons.
There are also various taxes and permits you're supposed to get and pay if you rent your place out on Airbnb in DC, but it's not clear how common compliance or enforcement actually is. UrbanTurf had an article on what you need to do rent legally on Airbnb, but it was written in 2014 so the rules may be different.
Photo by cjt71081