Sedona, Arizona, is willing to shell out thousands of dollars to short-term rental owners who offer long-term leases to local workers who lack affordable housing, rather than host tourists. The Sedona City Council passed a budget of $240,000 for stipends for property owners. They would receive anywhere from $3,000 for a single bedroom all the way up to $10,000 for a three-bedroom house, in return for renting to a local worker for a year. Homeowners who lease out individual rooms or spaces of their property can receive smaller stipends, and they must also set rental prices at a fair market rate of no more than $2,200 per month for a three-bedroom home. "You'd be really hard pressed to find anything for rent under $2,000," explained Sedona Housing Director Shannon Boone. "With gas prices rising, we can't keep expecting people to live an hour away." While some resorts have begun purchasing houses in neighboring cities as cheaper housing for employees, Sedona's Rent Local program does not, for the most part, offer as much money to the homeowner as short-term rentals would. Some rental owners said they would be unable to accept the offer because they live in their properties part-time and could not commit to a year lease. Fifteen percent of Sedona's homes currently operate as vacation rentals at prices that most of the community's workers cannot afford, according to public records.
12News.com (08/10/22) William Pitts