Rent Local

Rent Local incentivizes property owners who rarely use their Big Sky property to rent to local workers.

Rent Local has been immensely successful, and the program is FULL for 2024.

If you would like to have your property considered in the future, please complete the waitlist form and we will provide updates as they become available.

 

Join RENT LOCAL. Earn CASH. Make a DIFFERENCE.

If you rent to local workers, Big Sky Community Housing Trust will give you cash.

Building enough housing to meet the community’s shortage will take years. One immediate solution is to convert some of the 950+ vacation rentals into homes for Big Sky’s nurses, teachers, sheriffs, emergency personal, and other essential workers.

 

BSCHT determines the cash reward based on: (1) the number of bedrooms in the unit and (2) the length of time an owner commits to RENT LOCAL. Owners must rent to at least one person per bedroom to qualify for higher bedroom awards. Owners who rent out a spare bedroom can earn 50% of the incentive outlined in the chart.

 

Thank you Resort Tax, Spanish Peaks Community Foundation, Moonlight Community Foundation, and Yellowstone Club Community Foundation for funding RENT LOCAL.

RENT LOCAL GOES TO HELENA

House Bill 430 | Sponsored by Representative Jane Gillette

On February 17, 2023, the Montana House Taxation Committee heard testimony on HB 430, “The Rent Local Bill,” sponsored by Representative Gillette. During the testimony, 12 proponents spoke in favor of the bill, and no one opposed it.

Representative Gillette’s bill seeks to provide Montana communities with a valuable tool to incentivize property owners to rent long-term to local employees, as opposed to placing their property in the short-term rental market. The bill’s incentives to owners will come via property tax rebates, funded by an additional .25% lodging tax levied on the short-term rental properties.

Although far from becoming state law, BSCHT is thrilled that its RENT LOCAL program inspired Representative Gillette to sponsor this bill. If passed, a version of RENT LOCAL could exist in communities across Montana.

Not Just a Ski Bum Problem: a Lack of Homes Hurts Local Small Businesses

In a town that’s home to as many dogs as people, veterinary services seem essential. But even essential businesses like Dr. Sydney Desmarais’ struggle to keep employees because there’s nowhere to live.

Since opening Lone Peak Veterinary Hospital in 2017, Desmarais has struggled to find support staff. In 2019, it took five months to replace an employee that moved to Helena for cheaper housing. To survive, Desmarais supplemented her staff with relief technicians from Bozeman and Butte, an expensive option because of travel costs. In 2020, three more technicians turned down her job offers after they could not find housing.

Desmarais’ story is not unique. “Right now it’s a scramble. Businesses are forced to fight for employees,” Alex Omania, owner of the restaurant Lotus Pad, said. “We had to close two days a week [last summer] because I don’t have enough staff.”

Omania, who has owned Lotus Pad for 14 years, operated the summer of 2020 with a skeleton crew of six in her kitchen. She wanted to hire 12. Consequently, her online reviews tanked as patrons experienced long waits, and her business lost $45,000 a month because it could not remain open daily.

In 2021, Omani continues to feel this pinch. To add to her stress, she recently faced an eviction when Omania’s landlord turned her home into a vacation rental. Thankfully, Omani found temporary housing, but she has had to put her dream of homeownership aside, yet again, as the cost to purchase continues to climb above her means.

Like many business owners, Desmarais and Omania strive to create a community, but housing demands continue to plague their success.

“To keep employees in Big Sky, you need to build housing for your staff, but I don’t even own a house. I can’t afford a house.”

~Dr. Sydney Desmarais

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What if I want to rent my unit furnished?
It’s not a problem! We can work with your preferences regarding furnishings.
What should I charge for rent?

What other property management services do you offer?

Big Sky Community Housing Trust does not offer full-time property management services at this time. Owners participating in Rent Local may choose to self-manage or hire a property manager of their choice.

What if I already rent my property on the long-term market?

Unfortunately, BSCHT has already spent its current funding earmarked for property owners who rented on the long-term market in the last year. Future rewards to property owners already renting long-term to local workers depends on BSCHT’s success in its current grant applications.

When will I receive my reward for renting on the long-term market?

Homeowners who elect to join RENT LOCAL for a year will receive their funding in two disbursements. BSCHT will mail the first disbursement 30 days after the start of the lease. Owners will receive the final payment at the lease’s completion. Homeowners who commit to RENT LOCAL for two years will receive their funding in three disbursements: after the first 30 days, after the first year, and at the end of two years.

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