The New Orleans City Council is set to revisit the controversial issue of short-term rentals, or STRs, on Oct. 6. The council will consider a report from the City Planning Commission, which voted unanimously to recommend that STRs be allowed under limited circumstances in residential areas.
Sometimes known as whole-home rental, STR is the practice of leasing a house for a few days at a time, treating it essentially as a hotel. STRs are controversial for a number of reasons. Local workers have complained the agreements make it harder to find or keep housing. Homeowners have also cited STRs’ negative effect on property values and the culture of New Orleans’ historical neighborhoods.
City ordinances don’t allow STRs in most cases, though homes throughout the city are routinely rented to travelers. Media reports have cited as many as 5,000 local listings for whole-home rentals on home sharing websites. While some of the websites have launched major advertising campaigns in favor of STRs, many locals are pushing back and voicing strong opposition.
NOLA Neighbors has emerged as a broad coalition of groups and individuals who favor STR policies that seek to maintain the integrity and culture of local neighborhoods. Among its positions, NOLA Neighborhoods seeks to maintain the ban on whole-home rentals throughout the entire city. The group also wants STR websites to provide rental data to the city for enforcement puposes.
More information about NOLA Neighbors is available on its Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/nola.neighbors.join/.