Bozeman Tenants United Calls for Ban on Second-Home Short-Term Rentals to Address Housing Crisis

Bozeman Tenants United says a ban is needed to increase the city’s housing supply.


In a bid to tackle Bozeman's housing crisis, Bozeman Tenants United, a group representing local tenants, has called for a ban on short-term rentals of second homes, such as those found on Airbnb and Vrbo. By advocating for this ban, the group believes that approximately 900 housing units currently used as vacation rentals could be made available for long-term rentals, thus increasing the housing supply for Bozeman's residents. The pressing need for action was highlighted during a recent press conference held by the organization at Bozeman's Story Mill Park, where community members gathered to voice their concerns and seek solutions.

The Housing Challenge

Katie Fire Thunder, one of the organizers of Bozeman Tenants United, expressed her personal connection to the issue and the impact it has on the community. As she reminisced about the changes she has witnessed in Bozeman over the years, including the displacement of residents due to unaffordable housing, her words resonated with the audience. The urgency for action was palpable as the crowd echoed their dissatisfaction with the current state of affairs.

Bozeman Tenants United's Proposal

Bozeman Tenants United is urging the city commission to implement a ban on second-home short-term rentals in all of Bozeman's housing districts. The organization clarifies that they do not advocate for banning owner-occupied homes with a portion available for short-term leasing. Their aim is to address the practice of out-of-state investors hoarding entire homes for profit, thus exacerbating the housing crisis.

City Commission Response

On June 27, the Bozeman City Commission will discuss an ordinance aimed at bringing short-term rentals into compliance with current codes. The ordinance seeks to ensure platforms like Airbnb include a city permit number on their listings or remove non-permitted listings within five days. However, the proposed ordinance does not restrict short-term rentals of non-owner occupied second homes. Bozeman's city planners have expressed optimism about the potential success of this approach based on research conducted in similar communities.

Looking Ahead

Bozeman Tenants United, supported by local representatives like Alice Buckley and Rep. Zooey Zephyr, emphasizes the need for continued action beyond this ordinance. Their ultimate goal is to ensure housing availability and affordability for all residents. They are committed to advocating for the ban on second-home short-term rentals as a means to free up housing units, address the statewide housing affordability crisis, and prioritize the needs of residents over commercial interests.

The plea from Bozeman Tenants United to ban second-home short-term rentals highlights the urgent need to address the housing crisis in the city. With the support of community members, local representatives, and their commitment to creating a more affordable and equitable housing landscape, they are paving the way for crucial discussions and potential solutions. As the debate unfolds and decisions are made, it is hoped that Bozeman can find a balanced approach that supports both homeowners' rights and the pressing needs of the city's residents.

linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram