Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Legalizing Dizneylandrieu

Nobody actually lives here anymore.  The rent is too damn high because renters have to compete with luxury travelers and support staff for movie production.
Then there are all the other people touched by film in uncounted ways — for instance, people who rent their homes out as film sets or lodging. A website called Key to NOLA caters to the industry with short-term, high-end rentals, some going for as much as $5,000 a month.
We could try to remedy this situation via our political process but it turns out that the political process isn't interested in our problems.  Because gentrification is the policy choice our city has made.
NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) -Among the crowds of tourists who flock to New Orleans each year, many seek short-term rental properties for lodging.

While the growing underground industry is illegal in the city, some hope that will soon change.
"There are definitely people who want to stay in homes. They like the idea of having a living room and kitchen," said one rental property owner, who asked to remain anonymous. “We would like to see the business regulated and taxed."

The property owner is part of a group that calls itself, the Alliance for Neighborhood Prosperity.

During a city council committee hearing Wednesday, Alliance members are expected to continue their push to legalize vacation rentals, but they face opposition from several groups.
The "Alliance for Neighborhood Prosperity" you may recall is a group of landlords headed by former city attorney Bob Ellis.   Their plan to turn more of the city's rental housing stock over to the short-term luxury market is pretty much in line with Mayor Landrieu's "boutique city" strategy for growing the tax base by removing the poor we've discussed over and over to little avail here.

Anyway they've accomplished their first goal which is turn this into a "both sides" kind of issue that makes it easy for the press to frame in amoral he said/she said terms.
For now, the fierce debate continues.

"I think (a law change) definitely will get passed. I think the people on city council realize it will produce revenue for the city, which we need," said the rental owner.

“What this really comes down to is, who do you think New Orleans is for? We think New Orleans is for New Orleanians -- the people who live here, work here, go to school and go to church here, vote here. This other group seems to think New Orleans should be turned over to tourists," Lousteau said.
Should the city serve its citizens or its landlords?  "The fierce debate continues."  Well, until the landlords inevitably win, anyway.  

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