The Resort Municipality of Whistler (RMOW) convened the new Mayor’s Task Force on Resident Housing for their first meeting on November 7.
“I am encouraged by the collaborative discussions that took place at our first housing task force meeting,” said Whistler Mayor Nancy Wilhelm-Morden. “The meeting was attended by all members, and every task force member expressed their care for the community and recognized that Whistler’s success depends on us implementing solutions to relieve some of the challenges being experienced with our housing supply. We also recognize that not everything will be solved for this winter season.”
During the meeting, the task force discussed action plans that are already in progress to relieve the housing pressure this year, including:
- Increased enforcement of nightly rentals of properties that are not zoned for this use.
- Implementation of a business licence for all nightly rentals that are properly zoned. This will assist with regulation and is intended to free up properties that are not zoned or licensed for nightly rentals for long-term leases for local families and staff.
- Leasing of properties by individual small and large businesses on behalf of their staff. This will help to provide staff with much needed longer-term homes, while providing landlords with lower risk and greater confidence in the maintenance of their properties.
The task force identified a number of potential short and long-term solutions for consideration and further exploration, and will continue to work on these over the coming weeks and months.
A small sub-group from the task force was also formed and will reconvene in the coming days to discuss the idea of matching landlords and businesses, resulting in leases for long-term employee housing between the parties. Landlords would be able to register their home, rooms or suites, and businesses would be matched with appropriate accommodation for their staff.
Mayor Wilhelm-Morden added, “Given the demand for housing currently outstrips the available supply, the task force would also like to encourage all homeowners who have a vacant room or suite to seriously consider offering it for lease during the upcoming winter season.”
Chief Administrative Officer Mike Furey presented updates on housing in Whistler to Council in October, and Council also approved terms of reference for the Mayor’s Task Force on Resident Housing. The task force will provide opportunities for community input in the future.