This Montana Democrat invests in a company she blames for the housing crisis

Monica Tranel owns up to $50,000 in Airbnb stock, according to financial disclosures

Monica Tranel (YouTube)

Philip Caldwell • September 27, 2022 5:00 am

A Democrat running for Montana’s new congressional district may have profited from a company she says is preventing Montana families from affording homes.

Monica Tranel has slammed Airbnb and other vacation rental services for running out of long-term rentals and homes in its condition. But financial disclosures To display Tranel owns up to $50,000 in Airbnb stock, meaning she stands to gain from a company she says robs families of a ‘good chance to own and rent a home’ .

Tranel’s investments could hurt her chances as she takes on Trump administration Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke. The price of a typical house in Montana has increased by 46% since the end of 2020, according at Zillow, and the polls To display 77% of Montana residents are concerned about housing affordability. experts say Airbnb is contributing to the price spike as homes that would otherwise be available to Montananese are taken off the market and converted into short-term rentals for travelers.

It’s unclear when Tranel bought the Airbnb stock, which is currently valued at just over $100 per share, or if she has seen gains on her investment. Airbnb valued its stock at $68 per share when the company went public in December 2020. The stock price rose to over $200 in its first few months as a publicly traded company before plummeting at the height of the coronavirus pandemic.

Tranel’s financial information does not indicate when it purchased the shares. Tranel’s campaign told the Free tag she is “committed to placing her investments and retirement in a true blind trust” if elected, and remains focused on “solving the housing affordability crisis facing western Montana.”

Tranel has put the detrimental impact of short-term rentals at the center of its campaign rhetoric on housing affordability. At a candidates forum last month in Missoula, Tranel said she would work to “ensure that people who own homes in Missoula actually live there.” Its “4 Point Working Family Affordability Plan” also calls for Congress to “use the legislation to fight predatory entities that rent out second homes and push hard-working locals out of their own communities.”

In 2019, a researcher at the University of Montana’s Tourism and Recreation Research Institute warned that Airbnb’s acquisition of property could harm the state’s economy.

“Residents were telling us that short-term rentals were taking up all the units,” Norma Nickerson said. “If you’re a businessman trying to hire people for the season, there’s no room for people because all the workforce housing is going from long-term rental for short term rental.

The Zinke campaign said Tranel “was padding its own liberal limo pockets with Airbnb money and short-term rentals that are making Montana’s housing crisis worse.”

“The problem isn’t that Monica is invested in a San Francisco business, it’s that she’s a hypocrite and a liar — telling Montanese one thing and secretly doing another,” the campaign manager said. Heather Swift at the newspaper. Free tag.

The Tranel campaign further defended its Airbnb investment with the Free tag calling his opponent Zinke a “multi-millionaire” who owns “several homes”.

Tranel, an attorney who competed in rowing at the 1996 and 2000 Summer Olympics, challenges Zinke in western Montana’s new congressional district. The seat is assessed “probably Republican” by election analysts.

Barbara M. Stokes