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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

Native of New Orleans, who endured 20yrs cruel Minnesota Cold, I decided at 42yrs old it was time to pack up my then 6yr old and come back to my roots. I am all things that would challenge the belief of growing up in New Orleans. I was a 16yr old teen mother of a preterm 2lb baby girl born with a disability. With the help of my mother who had her own struggles. We survived the obstacles laid before us. I'm the proud mother of three children with two failed adoptions, as well as a grandmother of three, two grandsons and a granddaughter. I survived two abusive marriages. I successfully ran a soulfood restaurant and catering company in Minnesota for 12 years. I started 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.  I put my all into my cake business over the years as House of Cakes was started right out of my house in honor of him. I thought by having the big house on the hill, a husband, having a family, foster/adoptive mother at that, being involved in all things that matter, plus having the funds to match would cure me in a sense; but most of it poisoned my heart and soul. I had a broken heart and 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'm loving 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'm down in the boot, but I know I have a nice floppy hat awaiting my destiny...

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