Amid housing crises vacation towns limit short-term rentals

Short Term Rentals Housing Crisis
Posted at 10:55 AM, Aug 23, 2022

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) — The Colorado ski resort Steamboat Springs has passed regulations for short-term rentals, such as those booked on Airbnb, amid a severe housing crisis.

The ordinances prohibit new short-term rentals in most of the city and require landlords to obtain a license to operate.

Renting short-term, defined as fewer than 30 days, has become increasingly popular for second homeowners and investors who can charge hundreds of dollars a night.

According to Airbnb, listings outside major cities skyrocketed nearly 50% during the pandemic as remote work became more prevalent.

A Colorado Association of Ski Towns survey showed that nearly two-thirds of home sales in 2020 went to newcomers who made more than $150,000 working outside major met areas.

Vacation towns facing low housing supply, from Lincoln County on Oregon's coast to Ketchum in Idaho’s Smoky Mountains, are grappling with how to regulate the industry, and Steamboat Springs' new rules could prove a model for others.

The Steamboat Springs City Council passed a ban in June on new short-term rentals. They also passed a ballot measure that would tax the industry 9% to fund affordable housing.

Businesses and property owners strongly oppose the proposed tax.

“The short-term rental industry brings people to town, funds the city, and you want to tax it out of existence?" coalition vice president and co-founder of a property management company Robin Craigen told the Associated Press. “It doesn’t make sense.”