Big Sky program that incentivized long-term rentals housed 58 locals in three months

By Juliana Sukut Bozeman Daily Chronicle

A program in Big Sky that offers landlords cash to convert vacation rentals or seasonal homes into long-term homes for locals converted 21 homes and housed 58 locals in its first three months.

After a three month trial of the Rent Local program, launched by the Big Sky Community Housing Project, the nonprofit launched the full program on Nov. 1. The success of the pilot program wasn’t a surprise, said executive director Laura Seyfang.

“It’s what we were hoping for,” Seyfang said.

The program hopes to convince some 1,200 homeowners of seasonal homes or vacation rentals to rent to local residents by bridging the gap in money the homeowner might make with short-term rentals.

The housing trust estimated that homeowners make on average anywhere from about $3,800 to about $10,400 more annually on short-term rentals than by renting long-term.

“By providing this boost, it’s enough to make it even out,” Seyfang said. “We’ve put in place all these ways to make it easier for an owner to rent to a local worker, but then there was that cash difference. By making up that income difference it takes away all these excuses.”

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