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Summit County homeowners could make $24,000 for housing local workers instead of renting on Airbnb

To qualify for the program, property owners must currently have a licensed short-term rental and sign a lease with someone working in Summit County.

SUMMIT COUNTY, Colo. — Summit County and the town of Breckenridge have started paying some property owners who take their places off sites like Airbnb or VRBO and put them up for long-term lease instead.

The county said they are hoping cash incentives will help with the housing shortage for local workers in those areas.

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Since there is an inventory of short-term rentals available, the county said converting some of that into long-term housing is one of the most viable solutions to make up the gap.

“The Lease to Locals pilot program is an important component of our overall housing strategy to meet the need for affordable housing in the county,” said Commissioner Tamara Pogue in a release about the program. “We know this is a problem that we cannot build our way out of. Our hope is that through a collaborative effort with our community members and homeowners, we can make a positive impact on workforce housing availability in time for the winter season.”

RELATED: Summit County puts pause on new short-term rentals in unincorporated areas

Property owners can make up to $13,000 for a six-month season lease and up to $24,000 for a long-term lease with the highest payouts during the first 45 days of the program.

To qualify for the program:

  • A property must be located in unincorporated Summit County or the Town of Breckenridge and must be a legally licensed short-term rental unit. 
  • The property owner must submit an application, sign a lease with qualifying tenants, and undergo lease checks to ensure they are in compliance.
  • Qualifying tenants are required to work at least 30 hours per week for an employer based in Summit County.  

Property managers can also earn money as part of the program for units they manage but do not own.

The county is currently projected to be nearly 2,600 long-term rental units short of what would be needed to house local workers by 2023, according to the release.

The county said they are planning to pay to convert 100 properties this winter and to expand the program in summer 2022.

To learn more about the Lease to Locals program or to apply for an incentive payment, visit LeaseToLocals.co or call (970) 406-4519.

RELATED: Summit and Park county hotels become workforce housing

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