Sedona Offers Stipends to Short-Term Landlords for Housing Local Workers
Sedona, Arizona, a popular vacation town, is currently in the midst of a housing crisis. In an attempt to increase available housing for Sedona workers, the local government is offering stipends to vacation landlords in the area. The stipend applies to landlords who currently have vacation or Airbnb style rentals. Homeowners can receive up to $10,000 for a three-bedroom house, or $3,000 for a one-bedroom if the home is rented to an individual who has been employed at a Sedona business for at least 30 days, working 30 hours a week or more.
This approach to mitigating the housing crisis has been seen before in other communities, including Truckee, California, Woodstock, Vermont, and Winter Park, Colorado. The Town of Truckee Lease to Locals Program, which was launched in October of 2020, continues to offer incentives to homeowners to transition from short-term to long-term residential rentals for locally employed individuals and families. Qualifying homeowners can receive grants ranging from $2,000 to $18,000, as well as free tenant-matching services to income-qualified tenants.
The city government in Sedona has set aside $240,000 for landlord stipends earlier this month. As of now, approximately 15% of homes in Sedona are vacation rentals, most of which operate at prices that are unattainable to the local community’s workers. As inflation increases, Airbnb reports that the app is seeing more and more hosts on the platform.
The city’s economic development division housing director, Shannon Boone, argues, “with gas prices rising, we can’t keep expecting people to live an hour away.” Historically, vacation towns like Sedona have struggled to provide affordable housing for those who work inside city limits. With a broader housing shortage going on the US, providing housing for locals only becomes more of a challenge for these cities that rely heavily on tourism and vacationers. Along the west coast, this is a frequent challenge.
“Every day I get calls from folks losing their housing because their landlord is turning their housing into a short-term rental,” Boone reports. With the new budget approval, stipends could give landlords greater incentive to transition to long-term residential rentals in Sedona.