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The owner of record for the property at 919 Governor Nicholls, Unit 1 has received notice of a violation of the Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance which prohibits short-term rental in most of the French Quarter seen here in New Orleans, La. Monday, June 12, 2017. Signs saying 'no short term rentals' have also been placed on the balcony of another unit in the building.

Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON

Many New Orleans neighborhoods have experienced gentrification for years. But a new report looks at the rise of “Airbnb-powered gentrification” occurring in some of the city’s most desirable neighborhoods.

The Lens and the Huffington Post partnered to analyze short-term rental data since the New Orleans City Council legalized the practice of renting out rooms and properties through sites like Airbnb and VRBO. Under the new rules, which took effect April 1, short-term rentals are allowed almost everywhere in New Orleans, with the exception of most of the French Quarter. 

The joint analysis found that short-term rentals “are contributing to the transformation of a handful of the city’s most distinctive neighborhoods, particularly the ones closest to the French Quarter.”

The Marigny neighborhood has the highest concentration of short-term rentals, with one in 10 homes registered as Airbnbs, according to the report. In Treme and Bywater, at least 3 percent of residential addresses are short-term rentals.

The rise of Airbnb and other short-term rentals in New Orleans, a city that heavily relies on a healthy tourism industry, can bring positives, the report notes. But unlike typical gentrification, the new "Airbnb-powered gentrification" brings fewer positives overall, the report says.

“Tourism and gentrification typically bring cleaner streets and less crime, but tourists don’t stick around to clean up the neighborhood, vote in local elections or lobby for better schools,” the report says.

While some tourist-heavy cities, including San Francisco and New York, have allowed short-term rentals with certain restrictions, New Orleans has made it easy for people to rent apartments and homes, with relatively few restrictions compared to those cities, according to the report.

“If you have the money and the means, it’s easy to buy houses in New Orleans, evict tenants and turn homes into tourist lodging,” Breonne DeDecker, who works for a local affordable housing nonprofit group, told the publications.

The in-depth report also examines how New Orleans “got Airbnb’d” and the racial dynamics of housing.

Read the full report by the Huffington Post and The Lens here.