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Sedona renews program that pays up to $10,000 to rent locally instead of on Airbnb

The city of Sedona is renewing a pilot program that incentivizes homeowners to rent to long-term, locally employed tenants rather than short-term rent platforms like Airbnb. 

The city’s Rent Local program is supposed to address two problems: a scarcity of affordable housing for local workers and a glut of vacation homes that currently make up 15% of the rental market. Housing Manager Shannon Boone says interest was low last year, so the city is trying again.

"For example, we heard from some folks that they wouldn’t participate because the computer tells them how to do Airbnb but they have no idea how to like, be a landlord to a local person," she said.

The program pays homeowners up to $6,000 a year to turn a vacation studio into a yearlong rental, and up to $10,000 for converting a 3-bedroom home along with meeting certain conditions.

Tenants must have worked for an employer within city limits for at least 30 days.

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Fronteras Desk senior editor Michel Marizco is an award-winning investigative reporter based in Flagstaff.