Talk to Your Lawmakers, Candidates this Summer About Short-Term Rental and Housing Issues

Posted on July 18, 2022 by Dene Westbrook

When meeting with your state lawmakers and candidates running for state office this summer, be sure to bring up the topic of Michigan’s housing crisis in relation to the ongoing short-term rental issue.

This recent article by DBusiness takes a deep-drive look at a newly updated version of the Michigan Poverty and Well-being Map from Poverty Solutions at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. Specifically, it shows the extent of Michigan’s lack of affordable housing and how 12.9 percent of the state’s population are living on incomes below the federal poverty line.

Local government leaders know all too well the dramatic extent of the need for workforce and attainable housing in our communities and this article drives that point home.

State leaders seem to understand the need to address Michigan’s attainable housing crisis, but they can’t do that and ALSO have the desire to open the floodgates to short-term rental housing through sites such as Airbnb and VRBO.

A look at the Good Neighbor legislation in comparison to other legislation proposing to regulate short-term rentals.

So, as officials run for state offices in the upcoming August primaries and November general election and are out in the public at candidate debates, forums, open office hours, or are going door to door, be sure to get their stance on the attainable housing issue and the disastrous House Bill 4722 that would allow up to 30 percent of a community’s housing stock turned into short-term rentals. Specifically, it’s important to explain that HB 4722 views short-term rentals as residential and not commercial properties. Also, it permits short-term rentals in all residential districts and the bill states short-term rentals can’t be treated differently than other dwellings in the same district. Basically, the bill lays out that there’s no difference between a place where someone lives and a place someone visits.

This bill (view our website with details here) would make the  housing crisis even worse because it would allow for corporations to come into a community and buy up multiple homes for the sole purpose of turning them into commercial businesses with a revolving door of part-time time, vacation-minded tenants in your neighborhoods. Under HB 4722, without any local regulations there’s nothing to stop a neighborhood being overtaken by short-term rentals.

View the attached list at the bottom of this post that shows how state representatives voted on HB 4722 back in October. Please look at this list and if your state Representative voted “aye” in support of HB 4722, be sure to ask them why they supported this legislation, particularly if they recognize that the state has a housing issue. And if your state Representative voted “nay” against HB 4722 be sure to thank them and encourage them to continue to oppose it as the bill lingers in the state Senate and will most likely become a Lame Duck issue toward the end of the year after the November election.

Be sure to also mention, other bills that have been proposed, such as the “Good Neighbor Policy” legislation – House Bills 5465 and 5466 – that are supported by a coalition of organizations representing local government, public safety, the restaurant and lodging industry, economic development and more.

Please contact the League’s Jennifer Rigterink if you have any questions on this topic at [email protected] and 517-908-0305.

The vote breakdown on HB 4722 in the state House in October of 2021.



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