Updated: May 7
This is only the beginning. In 2019, the City of Flagstaff signed on as just the second city on the new RentLab platform, and we've been working together ever since to get better information into the hands of tenants, and celebrate the accomplishments of Flagstaff's most engaged landlords.
Right now, the Flagstaff map doesn't look like much. There are a lot of dots on the map, showing where rental properties are located, but not a whole lot of other details.
But that's the exciting thing about RentLab's platform - when we don't have all the data we'd like, we ask the community to help us get it. That includes landlords, who help by sharing the details of their properties - sometimes information as simple as how many bedrooms and bathrooms there are, sometimes information about whether the property has been insulated or not. It includes tenants, who help by sharing photos of their utility bills and other information like whether recycling is available at the site.
It could include YOU. We've already gotten great information from your neighbors, fellow residents, and local landlords - that's what those pretty blue dots on the map indicate. I like blue. Wouldn't this map look so much prettier with many more blue dots?
But pretty isn't the point. The first step in improving the rental experience is to understand what's typical in the Flagstaff community. What properties have more predictable costs? What properties are more likely to have unexpectedly high utility bills, and is that because of renter behavior or inefficiencies in the building? How many rental properties make recycling available to their residents? And how, through education and information and programs, can we all work together to make rental housing better?
Like many cities, Flagstaff doesn't have a lot of data on its rental housing sector. But what we do know is that an increasing demand for housing is sending prices through the roof, and that tenants sometimes struggle to find housing at all. At 53% rentals and counting, we also know that rental housing has to be a big part of tackling both affordability challenges and the ambitious climate action goals (an 80% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050!) that the community has agreed upon.
You, residents and landlords and tenants of Flagstaff. YOU are a big part of this solution, and you can start by helping us make information about rental housing more transparent and accessible. It's easy! Just click here.
Do it by the end of May 2020, and you can even win stuff, like gift certificates from Flagstaff businesses. Just fill out the form above, and we'll do the rest.