NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) - The ongoing short-term rental debate is heating up yet again. Thursday supporters and opponents gathered to discuss reaching a compromise. WGNO News Reporter Darian Trotter was there for the exchange of ideas.
An enthusiastic group of New Orleans citizens gathered Thursday to share a drink and a smile.
What they may not share is the same opinion when it comes to short-term rentals.
That's when private homes are puts up rent for days or weeks at a time.
More and more short term rentals are popping up, and with them come both supporters and opponents.
"It’s taking over the neighborhood in the same way, that it's taking over the French Quarter," Lisa Suarez said.
"I think it's a good way for families to be able to get together. I think it's a homey environment," Teresa Brown countered.
Supporters of short term rentals say they provide additional rooms during high traffic events.
"I think it's a great niche for our city to be able to accommodate guests as they come to new Orleans in a way that they hotels don't offer; or the B&B's, which is a different niche," Brown said.
Opponents say a private home is not a business - and should not be treated as such.
"Without being taxed, without being inspected for safety violations. It's a bad deal all the way around for people who actually live in the neighborhood," Suarez said.
"I don't think people who own private homes that they've rented out mind any regulations, but right now there is none," Brown said.
Eric Bay rents out his home.
He welcomes regulations that will help protect him and his renters. He and others like him have joined the alliance for neighborhood prosperity.
"To ask the city to help us regulate our industry, to help us support the city tax base to contribute like the hotels and the B&B do," Bay said.
The goal of the gathering was to keep the conversation going.
People on both sides of the debate are waiting hear more from city leaders about how best to regulate the industry.