I live in a community that like many, has been hit hard by Airbnb. Although I live in a rural community, we are located in the foothills of a very popular National Park, and the community is very divided about the impacts of short terms rentals on long term rental availability and affordability. Although no one has definitive data on the impacts, the general consensus is that more homes are being used to host short term Airbnb rentals, and that less houses are available for long term rentals. The housing market has also gone up and many homes are marketed to buyers as vacation rentals, making it less affordable for people to buy homes that want to live in them.
People here are divided and many think that the solution is to limit companies like Airbnb or to eliminate them completely. However, much of the local economy depends on tourism and Airbnb helps with our tourism industry and provides jobs for locals. The issue is that it is so difficult for locals who work these jobs to find affordable housing. To be clear, I am interested in creating a development that would construct buildings for rental homes and not for individual sale.
This is obviously not a unique issue. Many cities are trying to figure out how to work out this dilemma but I live in this beautiful rural town and love it here and want to figure out a way that we can address this issue. I have had a few different ideas and am very much in the planning stages of this. I'm trying to do research on how it would be possible to build structures in a way that would be affordable and also regenerative. I know there are LEED certified buildings but it looks like many of the criteria for this are still only geared towards just being more sustainable than traditional buildings. I'm wondering if it's possible to build a housing development in a relatively short amount of time (a year or two) that would require contractors and use materials and building practices that are truly sustainable. I would love to have a plan to be able to sequester more carbon than the housing development would produce.
Just to give you an idea for the framework that I am using, I'm wondering if it could work to build structures like this that could be used for short term rentals (possibly just going the route of paying hotel taxes) rather than use Airbnb, but that are studios or homes as to be more appealing for tourists, and use some of the profits from this to lower costs of the other buildings that would be used as long term rental units.
All my thoughts are currently in the theoretical phase but I do believe that it's necessary to think big and that we need this in our community. Any suggestions for where to start or other areas that implemented anything like this already?
Location: Cache Valley, zone 4b, Irrigated, 9" rain in badlands.
posted 2 years ago
Around here, there are a number of places that have "cabins" for rent. They are about 10 X 12 foot buildings with electricity, heaters, etc. They get rented out to visitors.
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posted 2 years ago
Joseph, thanks for your input. That set up sounds similar to a few spaces that are already in place here. I'm interested in buildings that would use renewable energy to run and be built with creative and sustainable resources, where some could be rented to tourists, which our local economy does depend on, but also for long term rentals with the revenue created from visitors used to make it possible to have the long term rentals affordable.
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