RENT LOCAL incentivizes condo owners who rarely use their Big Sky property to rent to local workers.


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.



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.

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



A RENT LOCAL owner can earn $1,618 more than a vacation rental. This includes visiting Big Sky for four weeks through HOME SHARE.


1. Gallatin County has a 0% rental vacancy rate.

2. 78% of Big Sky’s workforce commutes from at least 40 miles away.

3. Big Sky’s 2021 average sales prices make buying nearly impossible. (Condo: $1,157,457; House: $2,651,855)

RENT LOCAL Incentive Inquiry

Rental Address(Required)
The Rent Local program requires a minimum commitment length of one year.
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

“I made some make do privacy curtains and my coworker camped in his van in front of me, which made me feel safer. Living in your car in Montana in the summer is almost a treat, but lots of people are having to leave because winter here in a vehicle is almost impossible. There’s just nothing available, even if you’re willing to pay twice the rent.”


(Now housed, thanks to RENT LOCAL)


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?
A one-bedroom unit should not exceed $1,750 per month in rent. Rent for a multi-bedroom unit can range from $900 to $1,400 per bedroom per month. Acceptable rental rates for the RENT LOCAL Incentive Program depends on condition of the unit, number of bedrooms, utilities included, and other amenities offered. BSCHT reserves the right to decline rewards to owners charging more than a fair-market rate.
What other property management services do you offer?
Whether you need to save valuable time by letting RENT LOCAL screen hundreds of potential tenants or just need a professional on the ground to occasionally inspect your property, RENT LOCAL can create a service that fits your needs.

View A La Carte Property Management services.

What if I still want to visit Big Sky?

RENT LOCAL incentivizes condo owners who rarely use their Big Sky property to rent to local workers. HOME SHARE makes it possible for these owners to still visit Big Sky. CLICK FOR HOME SHARE INORMATION.

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.
Can I receive an incentive if I want to rent out my spare bedroom?
Property owners who rent out a spare bedroom can earn a cash incentive, too. Owners will earn 50% of the incentive outlined in the chart for each bedroom they rent to local workers.
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.

Three Ways to Join the RENT LOCAL Program:


Save time. Because of a lack of inventory, hundreds compete for a handful of properties. Let local professionals do the heavy lifting and screen the many applicants.


Loan your vacation home for a few weeks to BSCHT.  Your HOME SHARE donation allows other homeowners to both rent their unit long-term and visit the mountains they love. 


Many local business owners struggle to hire and remain open because there’s nowhere for their employees to live. Your donation helps BSCHT create programs to  increase rental inventory. 

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

Contact Details

Office: (406) 995-3696


88 Ousel Falls Rd #A1, 2nd Floor
PO Box 160164
Big Sky, MT 59716

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