|There’s still time! Please contact the New Orleans City Council regarding Short-Term Rentals (STRs). On October 20, the City Council moved one step closer to legalizing widespread STRs, but they still have to craft and pass an ordinance. The ordinance could be voted on as early as December 1.
Last month, with great disregard for public outcry, the Council voted to allow STRs in every neighborhood except the French Quarter, with no limits on density. The Council eliminated the “Principal Residential” Whole House Rentals category but then allowed whole house rentals as “Temporary” STRs for up to 90 days a year. With this, any and every house could become a de facto hotel and, additionally – there is no way our City will be able to enforce the 90 day limit. The Council claims they will work with Airbnb on reporting, and will pull electric meters for non-compliant operators! We must insist our City use the leverage they have now and craft reasonable, rational regulation instead of passing a weak law that invites abuse.
Furthermore, the Council opened up Commercial and Mixed-Use areas to STRs with no density requirements, meaning every apartment, condominium and commercial building can be turned into entire complexes of STRs with no owner/operator on site. This will devastate our neighborhoods and housing stock and goes against the administration’s own affordable housing initiatives.
The most rational way to regulate STRs is to require operators live on site, and that they have a homestead exemption in order to qualify for a permit. Councilmember Guidry attempted to put this in place last month and the amendments she put forward were narrowly defeated. We need your help reminding the City Council that people come before profits and that neighborhoods are for neighbors.