Letter to the editor: Let’s come up with creative models to help address housing | SummitDaily.com

Letter to the editor: Let’s come up with creative models to help address housing

Thomas Castrigno

How can we encourage long-term rentals over short-term rentals? There is no one fix, but a combination of tools is needed.

An effective mechanism could be to revive the master lease program to help put owners at ease with concerns about long-term rentals.

This might include screening and validating tenants backgrounds/incomes, and covering move-in deposits for workforce occupants. (Tenants could be obligated to maintain the property by agreeing to community service for damage beyond normal wear and tear.)

There is a survey going around asking property owners how much of a one-time payment they would accept to begin long-term vs. short-term rentals. To me, that is a slippery slope, giving away money to encourage desired behavior. This can lead to entitlement.

Rather, begin by incorporating the true cost of operating a lodging business — I refer to the many properties purchased specifically to be operated as short-term rentals — costs such as commercial property tax assessment rates and the same impact fees that apply to other businesses. Apply zoning requirements for commercial enterprises operating in residential areas.

Owners who actually use their properties a high percentage fall into a different category as do owner-occupants who might short-term rent a room or even a lock-off to subsidize their mortgage.

The concept of percentage equity ownership applied to long-term occupancy is worth investigating. In some cases, small groups of residents are pooling together to purchase homes. Another possibility might be structuring partnerships that allow a community member to work with a silent partner. How could tax advantages be used to create a win-win?

There are a lot of smart people in this community. Together, surely we can come up with some creative models to help address this issue.

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