Short-term rental proposal would eliminate many vacation rentals

Short-term rental proposal would eliminate many vacation rentals
Short-term rentals (FOX 8 photo)

NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - A proposal that would tighten short-term rentals in New Orleans will be voted on Thursday.

The proposal by Councilmember Kristin Palmer would do away with the temporary permit that allowed short-term rental owners to rent out entire homes.

"It's going to impact pretty significantly when you look within the neighborhoods, and that's the intent of the legislation," Palmer said.

According to the city's website, almost half of short-term rental applications are for temporary licenses.

“It’s frightening. We see it as draconian measures and ownerist ban that’s clearly unfair to the 72% of licensed holders in the city’s database, which are Orleans Parish residents,” said Eric Bay with Alliance for Neighborhood Prosperity.

If the proposal passes, residential short-term rentals would only be allowed for those with homestead exemptions attached to the property, which means owners are required to live on-site.

"In addition to that, we're looking at the commercial short-term rentals, and that's for properties that are zoned commercial, and there will be different stages of that," Palmer said.

Bay said he feels current short-term rental owners should be exempt if the proposal passes.

"We feel that we should be protected and be included. New licenses going forward, that's fine," Bay said.

However, Palmer said she's not considering grandfathering in current short-term rental owners.

"What do you say to the residents who have been there for 15, 20, 25 years that are forced to move?" Palmer said.

Councilman Jay Banks is a sponsor of Palmer’s proposal, and hopes it will make housing more affordable.

"Rents are getting to the point where they can't afford them because it's much more lucrative to rent it out for short-term. Now the economics of it, I get," said Banks, "but there has to be a median between allowing them to be successful in what they're doing and also making sure the people that make this economy work can stay."

“Ultimately, if the ban goes into effect, we’re going to seek legal recourse,” Bay said.

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