As we mentioned in our introductory post, the HomeAway Public Policy Medium account will be a place for HomeAway users and community leaders to have their voices heard when it comes to the impacts of short-term rentals on their lives and their local communities. With the New Orleans City Council set to consider regulations for short-term rentals in the coming weeks and months, our first spotlight piece comes from Janice Burrell-Pinera, a homeowner and 25-year resident of New Orleans. If you’re interested in having your voice heard, please email

Why New Orleans Needs Short-Term Rentals

As someone who has seen New Orleans grow up firsthand over the last two and a half decades, I’ve witnessed this city undergo a number of changes. Perhaps one of the most rewarding things I’ve been able to do is help others experience all that New Orleans has to offer.

For the past half-decade, as a retired university professor who taught at Southern University and Dillard University, I’ve been able to combine my passion for people and social interaction with greater retirement security by renting out my home on a short-term basis. And while the economic benefits of short-term rentals have been obvious for me, they also exist for the community at large. Recent data indicates that short-term rentals accounted for $174.8 million in total economic output in New Orleans in 2013.

For these reasons, and more, I recently participated in a roundtable discussion about the benefits of all types of short-term rentals in New Orleans. As a proud member of the New Orleans community, I urge our City Council representatives to regulate traditional vacation rentals fairly and in a way that benefits the great city of New Orleans and its residents.

- Janice Burrell-Pinera is a retired university professor, having held academic positions at Xavier University, Dillard University, and Southern University.