Tuesday, January 05, 2016

Rent is too damn high

This Gambit commentary, notably, highlights three issues the paper expects will weigh most heavily on Mayor Landrieu’s agenda this year. They are 1) Crime, because everyone is always obligated to say that. 2) RTA because, frankly,  people are demanding better transit. And third.. probably the most serious existential dilemma facing New Orleans outside of flood control.
New Orleans renters are hurting. Last year, CNN and other outlets labeled us one of the nation's worst cities for renters. In October 2015, the real estate website Zillow calculated the average rent here to be just shy of $1,600 per month — well above Houston, Baton Rouge and the U.S. as a whole. The Data Center found 35 percent of New Orleanians now pay more than half their salaries in rent.   The City Planning Commission is scheduled to review its Short Term Rental Study this month and deliver it to the New Orleans City Council Feb. 1. Currently, short-term hotel-style rentals of private homes are illegal but widespread; more than 2,000 are advertised in nearly every neighborhood in town. It's the council's job to decide how to regulate public accommodations, but as mayor of a city where affordable housing is becoming scarcer, Landrieu should take the lead on this issue. New Orleans needs affordable housing for those who live here, not just those who vacation here.
We're closing the book on a "recovered" New Orleans.  We're worried about how to keep it safe. But we also have to ask who this city has been rebuilt for. I don't think we're going to like the answer.

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