A move to ban many vacation rentals in New Orleans

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A New Orleans City Council member has released a long-awaited proposal that would ban short-term rentals of whole houses in residential areas.

Thursday’s move by Kristen Gisleson (GIZ’-leh-sun) Palmer drew an immediate rebuke from a spokesman from HomeAway, one of the businesses that arranges short-term vacation rentals online.

Homeowners could still rent out parts of their home to vacationers under the proposal. But Palmer aims to stop investors from buying up houses in neighborhoods strictly for the purpose of making them into vacation rental spots. Critics of whole-home vacation rentals say they drive up housing costs, drive away residents, and threaten the character of historic neighborhoods.

Palmer’s proposal also requires building owners in some commercial areas to match their short-term rental units with an equal number of affordable housing units.

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