Airbnb ban: New Orleans council have put their foot down on short-term rentals
Such tourist housing – as offered by Airbnb – is responsible for hiking up New Orleans housing costs, driving out residents and risks ruining the historic character of the Louisiana city that attracts visitors in the first place.
The measure to limit the proliferation of short-term rentals was put forward by council member Kristin Palmer and will affect those who rent out property to tourists for up to 90 days a year.
For nine months the licenses for such rentals will be prohibited – as will the option to renew existing annual licenses – while the effects of short-term rentals are analysed.
“This legislation is a first step towards revising and improving the short-term rental regulations to restore and preserve the residential fabric in historic areas of the city,” said Palmer.
The measure – which was unanimously backed – does not apply to commercially zoned areas.
This legislation is a first step towards restoring and preserving the residential fabric in historic areas of the city
“This is about achieving balance,” said council member Giarrusso. “We must preserve economics but first and foremost we must preserve our neighbourhoods.”
The effect of short-term rentals on housing prices is particularly of concern.
“There is a difference between locals sharing their properties and corporations buying up houses and apartment units and turning them into hotels,” said council president Jason Williams.
“These national and sometimes international corporations are artificially driving up the cost to buy a home or rent a home in our city.”
Samuel Taggart supports the measure.
Airbnb ban: Short-tem rentals force up the cost of housing in the city
He told US News that of 18 buildings on his block in the Treme neighbourhood of the ‘Big Easy,’ 12 are short-term rentals with a total of 28 units.
He said two of the units are “nothing but fraternity parties on the weekend. They bring in kegs of beer and crawfish.
“If they do go out to the French Quarter, they come in at 2:30 in the morning and party to four or five in the morning.”
Airbnb are unhappy with the decision.
“It is disappointing the city council chose to punish many law-abiding New Orleans residents who depend on home sharing to support their families,” Laura Spanjian, Airbnb Public Policy Director for Louisiana, told Express.co.uk.
Airbnb ban: Holidaymakers can cause a lot of disturbance for residents in New Orleans
“We have worked closely with the city for more than two years to develop and implement fair rules, which provide the city data and tools to enforce the law and millions in tax revenue.
“The vote flies in the face of the collaborative spirit with which we’ve approached our work with the city.”
Airbnb say that the vast majority of their hosts are sharing the homes they live in and many do so in order to make ends meet.
In fact, 70 per cent of New Orleans hosts say hosting has helped them afford to stay in their homes.
They add that the Airbnb short-term rental community has contributed over $6 million (£4.5 million) in hotel taxes and fees for the new Neighbourhood Housing Improvement Fund for affordable housing.