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Jane Place Neighborhood Sustainability Initiative Releases New Short-Term Rental Ordinance For The City Of New Orleans



 

NEW ORLEANS — On Thursday, September 13, Jane Place Neighborhood Sustainability Initiative (JPNSI), a ten-year old community land trust and housing rights organization, released their Residents for Ethical and Sustainable Tourism (REST) ordinance to propose new rules for short-term rentals (STRs) in New Orleans. New Orleans is in the grips of a historic housing crisis, which feeds into a displacement crisis that is destabilizing neighborhoods and uprooting residents across the city. STR speculators, who are converting homes into hotels, are putting New Orleans’ communities and culture at risk by fracturing our neighborhoods, particularly those areas that are rapidly gentrifying.        

REST will stop STR speculators from displacing residents from our neighborhoods and simplify the process for struggling homeowners looking to share the home they live in with tourists so they can make ends meet. REST will achieve this by:

1.      Requiring STR platforms like Airbnb to get licensed by the City in order to operate and mandate that platforms delete illegal listings and share usable enforcement data with the city.

2.      Limiting STR permits to one per operator, as well as to residences with a valid homestead exemption. This will allow homeowners to rent out a room in their house or the other half of their double, while whole home rentals run by absentee landlords will no longer be able to proliferate across New Orleans.

3.      Demanding deep investment in affordable housing by putting a $20 per night fee on each transaction, earmarked for the City’s Neighborhood Housing Improvement Fund (NHIF) to fund affordable housing development. This will double the roughly $3 million dollars per year currently allocated to the NHIF.

In the South—in cities like Orlando, Charleston, and Austin—and in some of the most visited cities in the country—like Chicago, Los Angeles, and Boston—local governments are enacting legislation similar to REST to ensure their laws put residents first, not real estate speculators. In multiple cases, federal courts have also sided with these cities and upheld their STR laws.

JPNSI Program Manager Breonne DeDecker, says of the ordinance, “We believe in a New Orleans where residents’ needs are placed before the desires of tourists. Our neighborhoods and communities can no longer bear the brunt of an unsustainable tourism model fueled by turning residential neighborhoods into tourist playgrounds. The REST ordinance will make it easier to enforce regulations, deliver badly needed residential units back to long-term residents, and promote and protect real homesharing in New Orleans.”

"STRs have supercharged displacement in many of our neighborhoods close to jobs and other amenities and are exacerbating segregation in our city," said Cashauna Hill, executive director of the Greater New Orleans Fair Housing Action Center (GNOFHAC). "We support the REST ordinance because it is designed to protect the vast majority of our residents who are renters or homeowners with a single home."

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