Within the combat to manage short-term leases, New Orleans had a novel thought—it might maintain a lottery. The plan was easy: Carve up town into blocks and use a hand-cranked lottery machine to attract numbers, permitting one rental property per residential block. For the winners, the prize was a license to maintain itemizing their property on websites like Airbnb and Vrbo. For the losers, despair.
However the controversial guidelines, enacted in March 2023, led to only one lottery earlier than being quickly halted by a federal decide in August. As town awaits a remaining choice, short-term leases in New Orleans have been left in limbo. Town has mentioned it’s not accepting functions for the short-term rental licenses it requires hosts to have, neither is it renewing current ones. And, till the courtroom makes a remaining ruling, the lottery balls have stopped spinning and town has halted enforcement of its newest licensing guidelines.
The limbo stems from an ongoing lawsuit towards town from a short-term rental companies firm and a gaggle of hosts who had been unable to even enter the lottery as a result of slim licensing guidelines.
Like many common vacationer cities internationally, New Orleans has loads of short-term rental listings. On Airbnb alone, there have been almost 7,000 listings in early September—nearly all of which had been whole-home or short-term leases, in line with Inside Airbnb, a housing advocacy group that tracks Airbnb knowledge. That’s about one itemizing for each 54 residents. By comparability, New York Metropolis had one Airbnb itemizing for each 220 residents earlier than it enacted a sweeping regulation that prompted the variety of listings to plummet.
The common lease for an house in New Orleans is round $1,350 per thirty days, however the common worth per night time of an Airbnb within the metropolis is $198 per night time, in line with Inside Airbnb. That’s almost $6,000 per thirty days if booked every night time. Officers say there are almost 9,000 short-term rental listings in New Orleans, although town didn’t reply questions from WIRED about the way it tracks that quantity. Greater than 200 of these have been added previously month.
Daybreak Wheelahan, an legal professional representing these suing New Orleans over the lottery regulation, disputes the concept that town has too many Airbnbs. In a courtroom doc that makes use of metropolis knowledge, Wheelahan mapped which blocks would have a number of short-term rental candidates, and located most solely had one applicant, whereas greater than 50 blocks had three or 4 candidates and just one block had 5 candidates. “I simply don’t see that there’s any proliferation” of short-term leases, Wheelahan claims.