OUR ADVOCACY 

As a community land trust and housing rights organization, our advocacy centers the voices and needs of residents most vulnerable to housing insecurity, discrimination, and displacement. We work in partnership with tenants and community members to create collective and collaborative solutions that serve to strengthen neighborhoods and families, change policies, and build partnerships.

New Report 


Short-Term Rentals, Long-Term Impacts: The Corrosion of Housing Access and Affordability in New Orleans exposes the ways in which short-term rentals (STRs) exacerbate New Orleans’ housing crisis and provides recommendations to elected officials, leaders in the cultural sector, and individual residents to mitigate the negative impacts of STRs. Read the report here











In 2017, the New Orleans City Council began regulating STRs by requiring platforms like Airbnb to share operator data - and, for Airbnb exclusively, to contribute to affordable housing funds - and by requiring STR operators to obtain one of three City licenses. JPNSI assessed the implementation of the City’s STR regulatory measures a year after their adoption through data collected from the City’s publicly available permit database, reports on monthly usage from STR platforms, and scrapes of Airbnb listings available online through Inside Airbnb. JPNSI finds that the City’s approach to STR regulation accelerates gentrification and the displacement of residents by permitting the limitless removal of homes from the housing market for conversion into STRs and ignoring the inflation of overall housing costs to which STRs contribute. 

Thousands of homes have been removed from the rental housing market, primarily in historically Black neighborhoods, to accommodate tourists and housing costs have increased as supply decreases and as sales prices factor in the potential return from renting to tourists.

The Numbers 

4291

2075

1764

5215

Current Number of Entire Homes Listed on Airbnb*

Current Number of Licensed STRs in Operating in the City*   

Current Number of Illegal STRs Operating in the City*    

Number of Entire Homes Listed on  Airbnb in 2015


*As of March 6, 2018.

Report Findings 


The Dominance of Whole-Home Rentals​​

Eighty-two percent of Airbnb listings are for whole-homes, single units of housing as opposed to accommodations within an operator’s residence, with the average of such listings being available 174 nights per year. Most Airbnb listings are exclusively used as vacation housing for tourists, as the units are off-market for over half of the year and, therefore, unavailable to residents.


Single Operators with Multiple Listings ​​

Large-scale STR operators, many of whom are based outside of New Orleans, are essentially running scattered-site hotels. Just over 16% of STR operators control nearly half of all permitted STRs in the city. Administrative flaws allow STR operators to register permits under different names and/or the names of employees, making it difficult for the City or independent researchers to track their footprint within the market.


The Oversaturation of STRs in Residential Neighborhoods​​​​

City Council has placed no limits on the number of rooms or homes per block that can be converted into full- or part-time STRs, leading to extreme concentrations of STRs in certain blocks, particularly in neighborhoods that are close to amenities that tourists want but residents need, such as access to public transportation, public parks and greenspace, and the restaurants and bars of the French Quarter that provide thousands of jobs for residents. Over the past two years, the geographic concentration of STRs has shifted away from neighborhoods more commonly associated with tourism (such as the French Quarter and the Marigny), towards the CBD and many working-class Black neighborhoods that are close to downtown, particularly the Seventh Ward, Treme, and Central City.  STRs are capitalizing on and contributing to the displacement of Black communities, making it more difficult for families to remain in or return to their neighborhoods as more and more housing units are dedicated away from housing and towards tourist use, causing overall housing prices for both renters and homeowners in the neighborhood to rise.


The Inflation of Overall Housing Costs

The proliferation of whole-home rentals in residential and commercially-zoned neighborhoods is making it more difficult for families to return to or remain in their neighborhoods as more housing units are dedicated away from residents and towards tourist use, causing overall housing prices to rise. Rent has increased in the nine neighborhoods with the highest concentration of STRs, including rent increases of 30% for a two-bedroom unit in the Seventh Ward, a 27.95% increase in a two-bedroom in MidCity, and a 71.93% increase for a three-bedroom unit in Bywater.



The Prioritization of Tourists over Residents

The City’s STR policy offers property owners a high economic incentive to remove housing from the residential market in order to offer it to tourists who, attracted to the year-round festivals and other events calendar, will pay many times more per night than the resident laborers who provide services. The policy included measures that the City claimed would offset the impact of STRs by exacting $1.00 per night from Airbnb rentals for affordable housing development. Airbnb reported that between January 1 and September 30, 2017, only $230,000 in funding for affordable housing was generated through legal STRs - enough for one unit of housing to be produced.





The proliferation of STRs in New Orleans in the year since their legalization begs the question: does the City and do we as neighbors believe that the rights to return, to rebuild, or to remain exists along a finite timeline or only for people above a certain income level?

HOW YOU CAN HELP

In addition to a broad base of support to amend the current STR regulatory process, we need policies that address substandard housing conditions and that improve tenant rights laws and to preserve and expand permanently affordable housing to meet the needs of low- and moderate-income residents. Join us.