Proposed changes aimed to increase development contributions for employee housing
Whistler Council has provided initial support for an amendment to the Resort Municipality of Whistler’s Employee Housing Service Charge Bylaw to increase the employee housing charge for applicable new development from $5,908 to $10,177 per employee generated. This increase reflects the inflation in housing construction costs, and is based on Statistics Canada Construction Price Index, and will allow for annual increases in line with the index.
The Employee Housing Service Charge Bylaw is one tool used by the municipality to support development of employee housing in Whistler. It requires all new commercial and industrial development, as well as residential development subject to a rental pool covenant, to contribute to employee housing. Charges collected through this bylaw are based on a formula to determine the number of employees generated by the new development, and help to fund the RMOW’s Employee Housing Reserve.
Mayor Nancy Wilhelm-Morden said, “Through the Mayor’s Task Force on Resident Housing we are looking at several ways of addressing supply for resident housing in Whistler, including funding from employee housing services charges. What we quickly realized is that the charges have not been updated since 2000, and therefore have not kept up with actual construction costs for more than a decade. This bylaw change is intended to ensure ongoing charges keep pace with inflation to support the generation of funds for employee housing.”
In addition to supporting an increase in the employee housing service charges, Council supported two related resolutions: to bring forward a policy that would apply to rezoning applications for proposed developments generating increased employees; and to investigate other amendments to the bylaw to more effectively address employee housing needs associated with new development in Whistler.
The Mayor added, “The new policy and other amendments, which will be explored by staff, will look at other avenues for new developments that generate employees to contribute to employee housing. We acknowledge that employee housing service charges won’t solve our housing problems, but are an important component of a multi-faceted housing solution.”
Read more about housing initiatives at whistler.ca/housing.
According to the Resort Municipality Act, the proposed bylaw amendments will require approval by the Province of B.C.’s Inspector of Municipalities. The proposed bylaw amendments will be reviewed by the Mayor’s Task Force on Resident Housing.
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 three 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.