In August, the New Orleans City Planning Commission voted unanimously against short-term rentals in residential areas. What should residents know and what does this mean for the city?
Short-term, whole-home rental is the practice of leasing an entire home for several days at a time throughout the year. These homes essentially function as hotels, especially during peak travel times like carnival season or Jazz Fest.
Even though city ordinances disallow the practice in most cases, media reports have cited as many as 5,000 New Orleans listings for whole-home rentals on online house rental platforms.
Short-term rentals are controversial for several reasons. Local workers have complained of not being able to find housing or being evicted by landlords who convert housing to short-term rentals. Additionally, homeowners have complained of the negative effects on property values and the culture of New Orleans’ historical neighborhoods.
Earlier this year, the City Planning Commission, which serves as an advisor to the City Council, voted to recommend short-term rentals in certain cases:
- Owner-occupied rentals like individual bedrooms or half of a shotgun double where the owner lives
- Whole-house rentals limited to a maximum of 30 days per year, allowing for property owners to capitalize on high-traffic tourism events like Jazz Fest
- Vacation rentals in commercially-zoned areas
In the latest vote, the City Planning Commission (CPC) considered a proposal for allowing whole-home rentals throughout the city. On Aug. 10, the commission voted unanimously against whole-home rentals in its recommendation to the City Council.
The City Council now has 60 days to hold a public hearing on the recommendation. The council has several options:
- It could vote to approve the recommendation of the CPC
- Approve the recommendation with changes
- Uphold the existing law that prohibits short term rentals
If approved, the council’s lawyers would draft a short-term rental ordinance and introduce it at a later council meeting.