Treme residents worry neighborhood is disappearing thanks to short-term rentals

Lauren Bale talks to Treme residents about the effects of AirBnB on the culture and area.

NEW ORLEANS -- Some residents feel short-term rentals are changing their communities and they want it to stop.

After an especially disrupting incident in Treme over the weekend, neighbors say they’ve had enough of AirBnB takeovers.

"I think it's sad,” full-time resident Josh Newton said. “People partying, not respecting the people who live here."

Josh Newton lives and works in Treme. While he acknowledges tourists are bringing money to a historically lower income neighborhood, he wishes visitors would make a bigger effort to respect the neighborhood.

"It's not that people have a problem with tourists coming here, it's people have a problem with tourists just taking what they want and beyond that not even showing basic respect to the people who live here and the people who produce the culture that brought these people here,” Newton said.

Full-time residents worry that thanks to short term rentals, soon there'll be no permanent residents living on the street. 

However, others in Treme pointed out there's less crime occurring on the street now that the homes have become short term rentals.

Christina Ruffins has grown up in Treme and said the area is different now.

"It's really more detrimental to the community feel with more tourism and people coming in who are not really familiar with the culture and the lifestyle in this neighborhood, and how important it is to try to maintain or hold on to some of that,” Ruffins said.

Neighbors hope tourists will make a more conscious effort to respect the city and its culture.

"I guess that would be my message, understand you're coming to a place where people live,” Newton said.

Otherwise, current residents fear what makes New Orleans' unique traits will disappear.

"I feel like we're going lose a piece of the soul of the city over time,” Ruffins said. “It may not seem like a lot at the moment, but over time it's definitely going to be detrimental."

Members of the community group Neighbors First for Bywater are holding a protest against short-term rentals Tuesday, September 27th, on the steps of City Hall. WWL-TV reached out to AirBnB but have yet to hear back.

© 2017 WWL-TV


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