New Orleans Council Votes To Halt Some Short-Term Rentals – Biz New Orleans – May 2018

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The city council in tourist-friendly New Orleans voted Thursday to halt the proliferation of one type of tourist housing: short-term rentals such as those facilitated by Airbnb and Homeaway.

Council member Kristin Palmer’s measure affects those who rent out entire homes for short-term visitors for as much as 90 days a year. It imposes a nine-month moratorium on licenses for such rentals — including renewals of existing annual licenses— while a study is made of the effects of short-term rentals.

Backers of the measure, which passed unanimously, said large investors have bought up properties to turn them into vacation spots — driving up New Orleans housing costs, driving out residents and threatening the historic character that draws tourists in the first place.

“We were sold a bill of goods when this thing first passed — that it was going to be mom and pop,” Palmer said, referring to the council’s earlier attempt to regulate short-term rentals in 2016. Her measure does not apply to commercially zoned areas and is aimed at the city’s numerous historic neighborhoods.

Supporting the measure, Samuel Taggart said that of 18 buildings on his block in the Treme neighborhood of the city, 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 4 or 5 in the morning.”

Opponents said Palmer’s measure will hurt small investors, too, particularly those whose licenses will lapse during the nine months.

“It will punish the people who are playing by the rules,” said Eric Bay, president of a group of short-term rental supporters.

Some warned of a ripple effect in the city’s economy, also hurting people who renovate and clean rental properties.

The measure does not affect permits for people who turn over part of their existing residences to short-term renters — those who rent out bedrooms or half of their duplexes.

HomeAway issued a statement Thursday disputing some of the claims by backers of Palmer’s measure, including the contention that short-term rentals have driven up prices and rents. It said it would work with short-term rental opponents to address their concerns.

“Average home values in New Orleans have been rising steadily post-Katrina, and the rate of growth has not accelerated since the legalization of STRs,” the company said in reference to short-term rentals.

Laura Spanjian, Airbnb Public Policy Director, said the vote was disappointing.

“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, and today’s vote flies in the face of the collaborative spirit with which we’ve approached our work with the City,” she said in an emailed statement.

– by Kevin McGill, AP reporter


Source: New Orleans Council Votes To Halt Some Short-Term Rentals – Biz New Orleans – May 2018

A native of New Orleans, who left her beloved New Orleans to spend twenty years of living in the land of Minnesota Not So Nice. Minnesota was full of opportunities but would learn that the soul of the state and the people who made it was just as icy cold as the temperatures. After the years and my 40th birthday flew by, I decided it was time to pack up my youngest child and come back to my roots, my birthplace the city that not only birthed me but gave me life. I would not be who I am without my New Orleans beginnings. I am all things that would challenge the belief of growing up in New Orleans. I was a 16yr old teen mother of a premature baby born with a severe medical disability. And only With the help of my mother, was it possible for me to BE! I was able to endure and survive the obstacles laid before my child and me. In a city that was built by my family, but did not allow for us to reap the benefits I overcame. Charity Hospital was my second home — a building filled with miracle workers who made it possible for my daughter to have life. I have lived a life of rainy days with peeks of sunshine, that are my children, including those not of my womb. I'm the proud mother of three and a grandmother of three. My dream was to live the life of the nursery rhyme of ”The Old Lady Who lived in a shoe,” and for the most part, I did. I cared for several children over the years as a special needs foster parent. I would learn that my love was not enough for some children, but I loved them through their pain. I'm not sure if I ever had a case of true love or came close to what love looks like on television, but I had my share of men and the mirage of love. I survived two abusive marriages. Though I longed to return to New Orleans on a daily bases, I must admit my move was one of the best decisions made for me. I am a college graduate; I was a successful entrepreneur. I coowned a soul food restaurant and catering company in Minnesota for 12 years. I developed the talent of creating custom cakes after the murder of my beloved cousin Melvin Paul. He survived Katrina only to go to Minneapolis six months later to be murdered over a parking spot dispute. But with the challenge of creating a simple wedding cake, I was able to find healing. I created the House of Cakes in honor of him. Minnesota life had me pretty materialistic. I worked to the point I do not remember much, but work and handing my children love money. I thought by having the big house on the hill, a husband, having a family, the ultimate provider and being involved in all things that matter, plus having the funds to match would cure me of what I was told was a generational curse of lack of everything from money, love to even self-love. But for the most part, that life poisoned my heart and soul. I was blinded by visions fed to me by the media. I was told I wasn't anything unless I was better than the Jones's. I lived being ok with a broken, bleeding heart. Life like this did not exist in my family while living in New Orleans from what I viewed with my eyes and soul. We may not have had all the things I acquired over the years, but we were happy, we were together. Family outside of New Orleans wasn't family anymore. We lived separate lives and had awkward moments when we bumped into each other in public. I hated living in Minnesota even though life their helped me in so many ways. I felt deep down the only way to repair it was to get back to my roots, my soul, my home, myself, my New Orleans. I'm here, and I love it. Even being in the so-called Blighted Area of New Orleans and not having all the financial and material security, I'm happy. I am determined that She, yes, New Orleans is a woman is just like me; together, we will overcome and will rise from all that tried to kill our spirit. Nothing like starting from the bottom and making your way back up!. I just know in my heart that New Orleans will provide for me. There's a bank account with funds in it owed to me by way of back pay for my ancestors. And I will receive my inheritance, and I will continue the traditions and customs of the old to keep the heartbeat of New Orleans beating. I'm down in the boot, living the life that feels right to me awaiting my destiny...

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