In the fight to regulate short-term rentals, New Orleans had a novel idea—it would hold a lottery. The plan was to divide the city up into blocks, and then use a manual lottery machine to select numbers. This would allow one rental property for each residential block. The prize for winners was a permit to list their properties on sites such as Airbnb and Vrbo. The losers were left with despair.

What is controversial? rulesIn March 2023 the law was passed, but only one lotto game was played before it became effective. Temporarily stopped A federal judge ruled in August. New Orleans has been in limbo while it waits for a final ruling. The city has The following are some of the ways to get in touch with each other The company is no longer accepting short-term license applications, and is also not renewing any existing ones. And until the court issues a final decision, the You can also find out more about Lottery The city’s latest licensing rules have been suspended and the balls stopped spinning.

The limbo is the result of a long-running lawsuit brought by a short term rental company against the city and a small group of hosts that were not able to enter the lottery, due to licensing rules.

New Orleans, like many other popular tourist destinations around the world has a large number of short-term rentals. On Airbnb alone, there were nearly 7,000 listings in early September—the majority of which were whole-home or short-term rentals, according to Inside AirbnbA housing advocacy group tracks data from Airbnb. That’s about one listing for every 54 residents. New York City, by comparison, had an Airbnb listing per every 220 residents until it passed a law that led to a dramatic drop in listings.

Inside Airbnb reports that the average cost of an Airbnb per night in New Orleans is $198. That’s nearly $6,000 per month if booked each night. Officials claim that there are almost 9,000 short-term rentals in New Orleans. However, the city has not answered questions from WIRED regarding how they track this number. Over 200 listings have been added to the list in the last month.

Dawn Wheelahan, a lawyer representing those who are suing New Orleans regarding the lottery laws, denies that there are too few Airbnbs. Wheelahan used city data to map which blocks would have more than one short-term rental applicant. Most blocks had only one, while over 50 blocks had 3 or 4 applicants and one block only had 5. “I just don’t see that there’s any proliferation” Wheelahan says that short-term rental is a problem.