Episode 897: New Orleans Vs. Airbnb : Planet Money New Orleans has become a battleground for Airbnb. Preservationists want to save the city. Landlords want to open it up. Can either win without destroying the other?
NPR logo Episode 897: New Orleans Vs. Airbnb

Episode 897: New Orleans Vs. Airbnb

Charlene Griffith shows us one of the two properties she rents on Airbnb. Alex Goldmark/NPR hide caption

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Alex Goldmark/NPR

Charlene Griffith shows us one of the two properties she rents on Airbnb.

Alex Goldmark/NPR

Charlene Griffith has spent her life in New Orleans. She grew up there, and worked one of her first jobs in a hotel there. When Airbnb came to town, she launched her business there. She fixed up a blighted home in the historic neighborhood of Treme, invested a lot in it, and started renting it out to tourists for good money.

It was a great homegrown success story.

But lots of other people also got in on Airbnb. So many homes have become mini-hotels that whole blocks --whole neighborhoods-- are losing the thing that makes New Orleans, New Orleans: its residents.

So the city is cracking down. A complete about face.

Today on the show, how New Orleans set out to help residents like Charlene build wealth. And then pulled the rug out from under them.

Music: "Edge of Fear," "The Duchess," and "Shoe-Shine Rag."

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