BOZEMAN — Housing is a big concern in Bozeman with limited supply and rising prices. One Bozeman group is pushing city commissioners to do something about short-term rentals.
“All of us are forced to either try and find housing here in Bozeman or we've and a lot of the times the most affordable and easiest option is having to leave Bozeman,” says a Bozeman Tenants United Member, Katie Fire Thunder.
Bozeman Tenants United is a group of about 150 members that have been pushing the city commission to change short-term rental laws. Members say they continue to face issues finding housing, and now they want something done.
“Get together as a group and you put forward demands and ideas you can really move things at a higher level,” says Sav Henderson, communications team lead for Bozeman Tenants United.
Bozeman Tenants United is “Demanding that the city ban type one, two, and three short-term rentals,” says Henderson.
The types of rentals in Bozeman are defined by how long the owner is present at the property. Type one is fully present, type two is partially present, and type three is not present. Members of the group say this is what is causing houses to sit empty.
“Banning short-term rentals would free up over 500 units across the city,” says Henderson.
Deputy Mayor Terry Cunninghan says the city has held a work session on the issue and gathered information. They are now looking at two potential solutions.
“Finding out you know how we can get those turned over to long-term rentals. Working with Airbnb websites to confirm that there is an official license a city-approved license before anything goes on their website,” says Cunningham
Bozeman Tenants United says they won't stop pushing until something changes.
“We're going to be at the next meeting and hopefully have more people come and talk,” says Fire Thunder.
The city says they plan to have one more work session. That date is still to be determined.