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Short-Term Rental Industry Backs Regulation For Booming Industry

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As New Orleans continues debating the pros and cons of short-term rentals, an association with members now operating in the burgeoning industry wants to get their message out. Operators of short-term rentals say they want to help – not hurt – the city.

Those working in the cottage industry met with reporters to outline their arguments. They included a representative of the HomeAway website for New Orleans.

Matt Curtis says the website based in Austin, Texas, has been operating for the past 13 years. He says it’s hard to pinpoint the number of short-term rentals in New Orleans because owners can have multiple properties and list on several websites. Also – some just want to remain under the radar.

The movement is getting some push-back from affordable housing advocates. Critics say short-term rentals are depleting the available housing stock, and raising rents for residents. Curtis says he wants to see more data.

“There are certainly regulations that are good examples out there in the world, where we can create a registration program and try to get a handle on the total numbers of short-term rentals. So that if there are pockets of places where there might be more than there are in other parts of the city, then there’s certainly a regulation that can be put in place to address that,”   Curtis said.

Eric Bay is president of the New Orleans Alliance for Neighborhood Prosperity. He says it’s time to set up rules and regulations.  

“With growing technology and the rise of the Internet it’s definitely caught on here in gangbusters, especially in the last 3 to 5 years,”    Bay said.

The planning commission has been reviewing the issue and will make recommendations to the City Council.

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