Short Term Rentals: Dear Councilmembers…
Read the email and survey results the Urban Conservancy shared with council members and their staff on March 13, 2023 prior to the joint Quality of Life/Governance Committee meeting discussing STR permit limitations:
Dear Council Members,
On March 9, 2023, the Urban Conservancy emailed a survey to constituents asking what issues were of highest importance to them when considering a regulatory framework for short term rentals in New Orleans. This was based on a similar survey we conducted in 2015 as part of a forum the UC hosted titled “STRs: What Works for New Orleans.”
Snapshot of respondents to March 2023 survey:
85% of the respondents are homeowners, and 67% of the homeowners responding own one home;
75% of the respondents are between the ages of 35 and 64;
25% of the respondents have been or currently are short term rental hosts;
79% of respondents have stayed in a short-term rental; and
24 neighborhoods and all council districts are represented, with the majority identifying their neighborhood as Mid-City, Uptown, Bywater or Gentilly.
Engagement on this topic remains very high. Within 24 hours of sending the survey out, we had received 105 responses, 80% of which included additional comments (see attached “Survey Responses”).
Enforcement, Noise, Limit on Number of Occupants, and Host Residency Requirement are top concerns. Respondents were asked to consider a list of eleven common issues surrounding short term rental regulation and their importance in New Orleans; these four issues rose to the top (in that order).
Reining in speculative investors, whether corporations or individuals, is critical. We asked respondents to consider various ways to reduce density by limiting STR permits in residential neighborhoods. While no single “right way” to impose permit caps emerged in the responses, many comments addressed the need to bring the proliferation of STRs under control. Many commented that without adequate enforcement, it didn’t matter what caps were adopted.
Currently, residents worry that when a house sells on their block, it’s been purchased by an investor who knows how to game the system. Renters live in fear of leases not being renewed when their landlord decides to jump into the STR game. And homeowners fear losing the supplemental income that the STRs they host provide. However, our survey results suggest that all are fairly unified in identifying out-of-town corporations and individuals with illegal non-owner-occupied whole house rentals as the chief culprits hollowing out neighborhoods and making affordable housing options scarce.
This Council is left to put the brakes on the runaway train that was put into motion in 2016 by past council members who didn’t or wouldn’t hear what their constituents were telling them was happening to their neighborhoods. For nearly a decade, New Orleanians have been calling for fair, consistent, and enforceable regulations that are centered on the basic human right to affordable housing. Thank you for the steps you are taking to close the loopholes and to create a functional regulatory framework. It is long overdue.
Attached please find the survey results and comments from respondents.Sincerely,Dana Eness, Executive DirectorThe Urban Conservancy
See the survey results.
Read the respondents’ comments.
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