Way behind on this, but worth a post.
I spent a large portion of the summer of 2015 working with Breonne DeDecker and Darin Acosta (the duo behind The Airline Is A Very Long Road) on a data-driven survey of the effects of short term rentals on the city of New Orleans.
As stated in our press release for the project:
The issues we’re primarily concerned with revolve around housing affordability and access. Utilizing data collected from Airbnb and Homeaway, nolarentalreport.com creates a framework for better understanding the impact of unpermitted short term rentals on New Orleans.
We spent months figuring out how to distill our data, research, and analysis into a functional website. We learned a lot and I'm proud of how it turned out.
What's more, our work was noticed (see here, here, and here). Some of those headlines are a bit extreme ("Illegal short-term rentals causing housing crisis"), but whatever. Don't trust the media (or professors).
Additionally, we had the opportunity to present our work at the 2015 Rising Tide Conference. We also meet with the New Orleans City Planning Commission after they extended an invitation to us to discuss our work.
While debates around short term rentals in New Orleans (and throughout the world) continue, I'd like to think Breonne, Darin, and I inserted ourselves into the conversation in a meaningful way. If nothing else, it was fun for me to work with such intelligent people and publicly call out a large corporation like Airbnb, especially considering the contribution short term rentals have made to the ongoing affordable housing problem in New Orleans.