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Commissioners in Bozeman will decide whether to ban certain Airbnb-style rentals



Bozeman, Montana – Commissioners in Bozeman are thinking about outlawing specific Airbnb-style rentals. There appears to be much disagreement over whether it will allow for more housing for the locals.

“We don’t want Bozeman to turn into Big Sky, we want to house the people,” said Jackson Sledge. “We want to house the ordinary working people who make the city run.”

Bozeman Tenants United’s Jackson Sledge is looking over a proposed rule that he believes might be a major win for those in the community who are unable to pay to live where they work.

“For the first time in Bozeman history, we have hundreds of people, our own neighbours, being forced to camp on the street,” said Sledge.

In the meantime, short-term or holiday rentals account for more than 5% of the city’s total housing stock.

Bozeman has 306 active short-term rental properties, according to the city.

You can see that these rentals take up a significant portion of the east side of town in a heat map that the city has released.

A proposed rule that would outlaw a particular kind of short-term rentals—type 3 short-term rentals, specifically—where the owner doesn’t live on-site at all, will be put to a vote by city commissioners on Tuesday, October 17.

74 of the 306 short-term rentals that are currently available are type 3. According to the city, these “tourist homes” account for 10% of all lodging beds in Bozeman.

“Which is not a lot,” said McCullough Roach.

Realtor Roach of Bozeman believes that prohibiting short-term rentals won’t address the housing crisis.

“I think it’s an aggressive stamp,” said Roach. “It’s a bit of an overreach and I don’t think it’s fair to private property rights.”

Additionally, the legislation would impose unique regulations on so-called “Type 2” rentals—those in which the owner resides on the property.

“Going after STRs is not going to solve our problem,” said Roach. “I think it’s going to be a collaborative effort with organizations, banks, lenders—everybody to fix this.”

Nevertheless, Sledge and the other members of the Bozeman Tenants United group think that outlawing these transient lodgings is a positive move.

“We’re glad the city is taking action on it and we’re looking forward to a yes vote on the 17th,” said Sledge.


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