The Resort Municipality of Whistler (RMOW) is in the process of transferring a third lot in the Cheakamus Crossing neighbourhood from the Whistler 2020 Development Corporation (WDC) to develop another rental property through the Whistler Housing Authority (WHA).
There is currently one WHA rental building under construction on Cloudburst Drive, which is expected to be available for occupancy by fall 2017. Preliminary designs for a second adjacent building are currently underway, and the hope is that the projects line up so there is one project completed each year for the next three years, adding approximately 250 new beds to Whistler’s employee housing inventory.
Mayor Nancy Wilhelm-Morden said, “We are pleased with this opportunity for the Whistler Housing Authority to develop more employee rental housing in Whistler. This is just one of several initiatives of the Mayor’s Task Force on Resident Housing to increase the availability of employee housing in Whistler.”
She added, “We are working with our partners and the business community on the task force to expedite collaborative solutions to our current resident housing shortage. We launched the Home Run rental matching program for property and business owners last week and have been pleased with its uptake in the community already. We have a number of managers and staff with families needing homes, so we still need more property owners to sign up to match with businesses already registered.”
Marla Zucht General Manager of the Whistler Housing Authority said, “These opportunities to secure additional resident restricted housing demonstrate the importance and success of working together on a common goal to create and protect affordable housing options for our community’s workforce.”
Last week, the Resort Municipality of Whistler, through the Mayor’s Task Force on Resident Housing, launched a new program, Home Run, to match business owners with property owners for workforce housing.
The goal of the program is to help local business owners find stable accommodation for their workforce, while encouraging home owners with a streamlined, low risk option to earn rental income from their vacant properties.
The program administered by the Whistler Housing Authority and managed by their licensed property manager has already received applications from both businesses and property owners.
The task force encourages all homeowners who have a vacant room, suite or property to seriously consider joining the matching program to help house Whistler’s workforce. Businesses and property owners can register for the Home Run matching program at whistlerhousing.ca.
Compared to other North American mountain resort communities, Whistler does extremely well at housing its workforce within its boundaries. In 2015, approximately 79 per cent of Whistler’s total workforce resided within the community. However, as the resort achieved record-breaking visitation levels in the last few seasons, Whistler is now experiencing a housing shortage for the additional workforce required to serve resort guests.
About the Whistler Housing Authority
The Whistler Housing Authority (WHA) is an independent municipally owned corporation of the Resort Municipality of Whistle created to oversee the development, administration and management of resident restricted housing in Whistler. Embracing the goal of housing at least 75 per cent of employees locally within Whistler, the WHA continues to maintain and augment its inventory of resident restricted housing so that both long-term rental and ownership accommodations are available and affordable for local income earners and retirees in perpetuity.
Whistler is one of only a few resort communities in North America with an organization such as the Whistler Housing Authority that has such a robust inventory and community-entrenched resident housing program. Whistler is considered a world leader in this respect and is contacted regularly by other communities to learn about Whistler’s resident housing model.
About the Resort Municipality of Whistler
The Resort Municipality of Whistler (RMOW) is Whistler’s local government led by an elected council and administered by an executive team and staff on behalf of 10,447 residents and 2.7 million annual visitors. The RMOW manages municipal planning and development, park and Village operations, sports facilities and recreation, public utilities and environmental services, bylaws and enforcement, fire rescue, fiscal planning and financial services, legislative services, human resources, communications and the administration of the Whistler2020 Comprehensive Sustainability Plan and Whistler’s Official Community Plan. The RMOW collaborates with in-resort and external partners to create visitor experiences and enrich community life.
Whistler’s vision is to be the premier mountain resort community as it moves toward sustainability. Whistler was the proud Host Mountain Resort for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.