The Problem with Short-Term Rentals


An entire home rented out via Airbnb or Vrbo is a hospitality business with no neighbor with whom to speak or share a neighborly friendship. It creates a hole in the fabric of the community that is exploited by both the visitors and the STR owner.

Short-Term Rentals can generate significantly more revenue than a long-term rental. This business model attracts wealthy investors and Wall Street firms who buy and rent homes based on financial modeling. They can afford to pay cash for homes at top dollar and move much more quickly than private individuals. The average price of homes then increases, locking out more people and raising the property tax valuations for neighbors. These investors have little regard for the culture of the community except insofar as they might commodify it to increase their revenue.

The loss of housing to hospitality use intensifies the lack of affordable housing for workers, families, and retired persons. Santa Rosa is experiencing a critical lack of shelter due to the loss of houses to
wildfires. Limiting or prohibiting STRs is a clear way to make some homes available for permanent residents, which would restore the social fabric of the neighborhoods.