Mason Rossiter

Hey there! I’ll admit it right off the bat, but up until recently I knew very little about short-term rentals. But funnily enough the issue actually wound up on my radar because of SOSR, so this has definitely come full circle now. First and foremost I want to make it clear that the housing crisis was one of the reasons I chose to run in the first place. Trying to find a place to live in this city is hard enough as it is, and the rising costs only make matters worse. I think it’s clear that short-term rentals, especially unhosted ones, contribute to this issue. Hosted short-term rentals are one thing. Those are at least inhabited by someone who not only lives in the community but who can hold whoever they’re renting to accountable. Furthermore, many who host short-term rentals, especially if it’s their primary residence, may be doing so in order to simply make ends meet. However, unhosted short-term rentals are where the real problems arise. While it can be difficult to tell a homeowner what to do with their property, it’s undeniable that these unhosted rentals are giving tourists a fun little weekend while hundreds of Santa Rosans live on the streets and thousands more struggle to keep the homes they do have. Worse still, they lack any substantial means of supervising the tourists that patronize them, leading to several cases of long-term residents facing harassment from these tourists. Now that’s a lot of talk on what I believe, but let’s talk solutions. Last August, the Santa Rosa City Council voted to cap the number of unhosted short-term rentals to 198 citywide, and froze all applications until permanent rules are adopted (it’s worth noting that the retiring incumbent in my district voted against this). This is a move I absolutely support, and going forward I would be a strong voice in favor of maintaining these caps and holding rental owners accountable for abusive renters, including revoking permits if necessary. In addition, I fully intend to maintain an open office if elected, and that would include not only hearing the concerns of those opposed to short-term rentals but amplifying those concerns to the rest of the Council.