Air BnB is Ruining New Orleans


After a recent trip to New Orleans I became aware of a post-Katrina problem that had not previously occurred to me. This problem is that short term rentals such as Air BnB are contributing to the ruin of New Orleans (NOLA) neighborhoods. A friend of mine has been living in NOLA for about a year and took us on the “behind the scenes” tour. Walking around some of the neighborhoods, I noticed many properties that were in disrepair and there was a lack of people on the streets.

Here is a link to an interesting article about this problem: .

My friend told me that post-Katrina, many people simply abandoned their homes and never returned. This led to the homes being sold dead cheap to out of town investors. These investors realized that they could cash in on NOLA tourism and started renting out their properties through services such as Air BnB.

When these out of town property owners buy up space in residential neighborhoods, they dilute the community and in turn, there are fewer people left to care about the state of things. In the article above a resident complains that “Once the short term renters leave, its like a ghost town.”

Many sidewalks are upturned and difficult to walk through. Yards are overgrown and unsightly. Out of town property owners do nothing to fix these problems, only concerning themselves with cashing in on their rentals.

There is a feeling of “just putting up with it” going around in NOLA neighborhoods and a lack of a strong community is a big part of that problem.

In closing, perhaps if you plan to travel to NOLA and are looking for accommodations, you might consider supporting a local business who supports the community, rather than a short term rental property owner who does not.


2 thoughts on “Air BnB is Ruining New Orleans

  1. Nice post. I just finished watching the tv series Treme (On the BnB map) not too long ago and it essentially brought to light the state of post-Katrina New Orleans, and what a sad state it is. The post-hurricane can be very profitable for land developers, but the poor residents are marginalized and lose out as usual . I suggest that anyone who gets the chance to watch it, do so.

    Another interesting aspect this post is the rise of companies like Air BnB or Uber. They seem to be changing the way things are done in the service industry. Whether that’s a good or bad thing, mostly bad if you ask those who make their living in the hotel or taxi-type business. Then you have the whole, not-actually-trained professionals associated with these companies. It’s like anyone with a house or a car can be an inn keeper or a cabbie. These companies might make it a little less expensive for the consumer, if they even do at all, but they certainly seem to make everything worse for the economy as a whole. It’s seems to be an eerie foreshadowing of the jobs that might not be there in 50 years.

  2. I recently used Uber for the first time with my wife and came to a similar conclusion about how they are making it harder on the economy. Our driver was a retired music teacher. He didn’t need the money, but needed something to do. Uber was half as expensive as when we took the cab, and we wondered how they could do it. I wonder if it is because a retired school teacher is going to care less about his salary then a person who has five kids. Point being that I agree that Uber and places like AirBnB are undermining the local economy. Its tough not to take advantage of the cheaper prices, but it might hurt us all in the long run.
    Thanks for the post. I try to support local things in general by buying from farmer’s markets and things like that, but this expanded my perspective of ways to support local businesses.

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