The Latest: Airbnb bashes New Orleans’ proposed restrictions

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The Latest on a proposal to ban short-term rentals of non-owner-occupied houses in New Orleans (all times local):

4:30 p.m.

Airbnb says a proposal in New Orleans to ban short-term rentals of whole homes that are not owner-occupied would “devastate” some city residents who depend on the income.

New Orleans City Council member Kristen Gisleson Palmer released the proposal Thursday. She says the proliferation of houses now used only as vacation rentals threatens the character of some historic neighborhoods.

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Airbnb’s statement says Palmer’s proposal was “crafted in a backroom without input from key stakeholders.” Palmer counters that there were months of meetings and public input that went into the proposal. And there will be more public hearings and study before the proposal comes up for a vote, likely in April.

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12:15 p.m.

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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