SAN DIEGO (NEWS 8) – Controversy continues over the signature gathering drives to overturn the City of San Diego’s new regulations on short-term vacation rentals.

Some News 8 viewers have claimed voters are being tricked.

Outside of a Target store in the Midway District, News 8 spoke with a man as he made his pitch to get customers to sign a petition he was promoting.

A News 8’s reporter repeatedly heard him tell people the petition was an effort “supporting affordable housing to make it easier for people to get off the streets.”

When News 8 asked a petition signer what she had signed for, the customer told News 8 it was for housing that people could afford – temporary. News 8’s reporter then explained that the petition was about a referendum to overturn San Diego’s recently passed short-term rental ordinance.

“I thought what I signed was for people, either homeless or very low income that could not afford housing – that the city would build housing for them,” said the woman.

The petitioner said, “That is not what I said. That is not what I said.” When News 8 asked him if he felt he was misleading people, he adamantly said no.

A spokesperson for Airbnb sent News 8 the following statement: 

"We are deeply committed to ensuring that everyone collecting signatures accurately represents our coalition - unlike opponents who continue to misrepresent the facts. The facts are, this referendum protects property rights and ensures San Diego can continue to reap the economic benefits of tourism. We are looking into this situation and will take appropriate action if any signature gatherers are anything but honest."

News 8 reporter's full encounter with a petition gatherer and a petition signer