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Bozeman beginning process to update short-term rental policy

AIRBNB pic .jpg
Posted at 10:19 AM, Sep 02, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-02 12:26:12-04

Tourism is a big driver of Bozeman’s economy. The city of Bozeman is now looking to tackle its short-term rental policies as many homes throughout the valley sit empty. The city wants to change that.

“I think right now we're in the middle of a housing affordability crisis,” says Bozeman Economic Development Manager David Fine.

As prices of homes soar in Bozeman, and houses sit empty, the city wants to know if supply can be added to the scarce market.

“Whether converting more of those short-term rentals convert to longer-term rentals would do something for housing affordability,” says Fine.

According to Airbnb data, there are 425 active listings in the 59718 zip code, and 506 in the 59715 zip code. Some of these numbers do take into account the properties outside city limits.

“Finding ways to get better data and better reporting are the first step to getting a better handle on our short-term policy situation,” says Fine

The Economic Development Office’s biggest recommendation to the city commission is to collaborate and communicate more with the platforms.

“There are options to put more of that burden on platforms like Airbnb, VRBO-for them to report to us that the listings on their platforms are in compliance,” says Fine.

The policy the city produces is still unknown as it gathers information from the services.

“The very beginning,” says Fine. "As our policy options get more concrete were going to more specifically engage about those.”

The process of formalizing a concrete policy is still early in the process. The city says they are still looking for public comment and input as they move along.