Airbnb ruling a big mistake
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The New Orleans City Council finally voted on the long-delayed bill dealing with short-term rentals on Thursday, Oct. 21. Widely considered to be a landmark decision, the council decided short-term rentals could continue in the city with some exceptions.
Proponents of the ban on short-term rentals have criticized the practice of gentrifying poor neighborhoods and turning once-peaceful suburbs into extensions of the French Quarter, with wild tourists now staying in these houses instead of downtown hotels.
Driftwood has already published an article dealing with the effects of short-term housing rentals, and we encourage you to go read that extensive piece on our website (Sept. 14, “New Orleans ready to vote on Airbnb regulations”.)
Although short-term housing may have its place in our city, as of right now, there is virtually no regulation and no way to stop these homeowners from exacerbating the already serious city-wide problem of gentrification.
Proponents of the continuation of these virtually unregulated short-term rentals propose that it puts extra money in homeowners’ pockets, and a city-wide ban is an unrealistic objective.
However, the vast majority of homes rented out on a regular basis are owned by a small group of wealthy owners. Very little of the money tourists are pouring into short-term rentals is going into the average New Orleanian’s pocket.
Moreover, for those citizens whose main argument in defense of short-term rentals is that Airbnb and other massive technology companies are unstoppable, who postulate these companies will never let a city-wide ban happen, New York City just banned Airbnb outright.
New York City’s council voted on short-term rentals, concluding that they had no place in the Big Apple. The idea of a city-wide ban is not idealistic, it’s a plausible scenario, now with a major precedent.
If the largest city in North America can enforce a city-wide ban on Airbnb, so can a small tourist city. The New Orleans City Council made a serious mistake.