There is no question that finding affordable housing is a challenge for so many of us in Taos. More and more of our long-term rental units are being converted into AirBnB, VRBO, or other short-term rental properties. The remaining units on the market have subsequently increased in price. At the same time, home prices have risen. These changes, coupled with the low wages so prevalent in our community, are driving people out of Taos and hindering our ability to recruit school teachers, firefighters, police officers, and other professionals. Here's my affordable housing plan:
- Audit AirBnB, VRBO, and other listing agents to make sure that all short-term rentals are registered as businesses, have fire inspections, and that we are receiving gross receipts and lodgers taxes.
- Explore a limit on the number of short-term rentals allowed per neighborhood.
- Explore tax breaks, utility discounts, and other incentives for property owners who offer long-term rental properties.
- Update our land use ordinances to encourage tiny home and other experimental housing options.
- Update our zoning for town-owned land near the Youth and Family Center, to encourage more multi-family housing.
- Continue to work with partners like Habitat for Humanity to create opportunities for home ownership for our citizens.
- Appoint an affordable housing commission that will actually meet regularly to examine housing opportunities, and report to the governing body.