Charlevoix Main Street Aims To Bridge Gap Between Short-Term Tenants and Landlords

After passing an ordinance to allow single-room rentals, this Northern Michigan city is taking further steps to help those trying to rent one.

Charlevoix’s Main Street program just unveiled a new home-sharing website. They say it will help renters, landlords and even local businesses. 

"We don’t have enough apartment complexes and its kind of a similar story across Northern Michigan," said Main Street Charlevoix Executive Director Lindsey Dotson. 

A lack of affordable housing in Charlevoix has caused many summer jobs to go unfilled. 

"Our local businesses have struggled for years to find the appropriate number of people to work in their stores and their restaurants because there’s not enough housing," said Dotson. 

Charlevoix Pizza Co. opened two weeks ago, they say some employees have struggled to find a place to live. 

"Having just staffed this and being open for two weeks I sort of feel the pain, there’s a severe labor shortage. I’m lucky in that I hire a lot of high school kids but i do have some out of the area workers that are having a hard time finding a place to live, a reasonable place to live," said Operator Mike Spencer.

Charlevoix’s Main Street Program hopes their new home-sharing website will help. The website aims to link short-term tenants and landlords.

"Main Street is acting as the matching entity. On our website you can go fill out an application and we will then connect those that match, and hope they can work out an agreement for short-term rentals," explained Dotson.

With short-term rentals now legal within the city, business owners are confident Charlevoix is taking a step in the right direction. 

"Hopefully it will provide additional opportunities for students who don’t live around here to come and spend the summer in Charlevoix and enjoy it and work here, and have a fairly inexpensive place to stay," said Charlevoix Wear Owner Kirby Dipert.