LETTER: Control Short-term rentals

Port Angeles is a special place.

That secret is out and people are flocking here to take in the beauty of the Olympic Peninsula.

Increasing housing demand is driving our area into an affordable housing crisis, and short-term rentals (STRs) are leading the charge.

Many STR owners own multiple rentals in Clallam County and some are owned by out-of-towners.

One man I know lives in another county and owns four STRs in our county.

Another gentleman that I know owns an STR, lives in another state and only visits once a year for maintenance.

Rich buyers, local or otherwise, come in and take a house off the market, then immediately turn it into an STR.

They remove housing options for local residents and drive prices higher, making it even more difficult to afford what’s left.

Working parents with children are being forced from their homes into tents and cars, all in the name of greed.

This is the sad reality.

It’s heartbreaking, but it doesn’t have to be this way.

While nobody wants to be told what to buy or what to do with their purchase, as a community, we need to find some balance between families living on the streets and vacationers using entire homes for a few nights at a time.

One suggestion is to allow only an owner-occupied permanent residence to be used as a STR.

There are other creative solutions as well.

We need real action, and right now.

Our former neighbors are suffering.

Amanda Stanley

Port Angeles