Sedona To Pay Homeowners To Stop Renting to Tourists

A popular Arizona destination for travelers from around the world may soon be impacted by a short-term rental change.

A lack of available housing for residents has prompted the City Sedona to start a program that incentivizes homeowners to lease out their homes to local workers and to stop leasing out their homes as Airbnb rentals to tourists.

On Tuesday, the city of Sedona City Council approved spending $240,000 for a program that gives stipends to property owners who lease out their homes to local workers to help with the lack of affordable housing.

Under the new program, the homeowners agree to rent to a local worker for a one-year lease in which they can earn anywhere from $3,000 for a single bedroom, up to $10,000 for a 3-bedroom house. Other options are for an owner of a two-bedroom home can receive up to $8,500 from the city. Owners of a one-bedroom property can be paid $7,000 and studio owners can get $6,000.

To qualify under the program, a renter must be employed with a Sedona business for at least 30 days and worked at least 30 hours per week. Retirees and disabled residents are eligible to become a tenant under the program. However, related tenants and homeowners cannot qualify for the incentive.

Sedona will offer the rental incentives allocated funds for at least one year or until the funds run out.

According to data from the city, only 4% of total dwelling units in Sedona are apartments. Which compared to the state’s average of 16% is significantly below. The current situation is that people who work in Sedona are struggling to find housing due to increasing real estate prices and the vacation rentals that dominate the rental market in the city. The housing situation makes rentals financially unattainable for working employees.

Just days after the new programs approval, there are already members of the community who don’t feel it will be a successful program to turn the housing condition around.

In most circumstances, the new stipend for the homeowners will not provide as much money to the homeowner as a short-term rental would.

Another factor is that many owners use the property themselves and live in their homes part-time, which would not allow them to accommodate a full year lease to a renter.

The program is expected to start accepting applications on September. 1.


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