Housing Needs Report

Creekside Neighbourhood - Mike Crane Photo

What is a Housing Needs Report?

Whistler’s Housing Needs Report is an informative report that conducts a deep dive into the current available quantitative and qualitative data on population, dwellings, and households, with the intention to update our understanding of housing need in terms of:

  • How many households in Whistler face housing need?
  • Who is facing this need – which types of households? Age? Other demographics?
  • What type of need do they face? Affordability, suitability, or adequacy of housing?

The report will support future housing policy decisions by the municipality and other community stakeholders.

What does “Housing Need” mean?

According to Census Canada and CMHC, housing need is defined across three dimensions:

  • Affordability – the household spends less than 30% of its gross income on shelter costs
  • Suitability – there are enough bedrooms for the size and make-up of the household (according to National Occupancy Standards)
  • Adequacy – the housing is not in need of major repairs

If a household experiences need in any one of the above dimensions, and would have to spend 30% or more of its gross income to afford the rent for an alternative suitable and adequate unit in the local market, then the household is in core housing need. If the household is in core housing need and has a shelter-cost-to-income ratio of 50% or more, then it is in extreme core housing need.

Why did Whistler Complete a Housing Needs Report?

In April 2019, new provincial legislation amended the Local Government Act establishing a requirement for local governments to complete housing needs reports by April 2022 and every five years thereafter. This includes minimum reporting and data collection requirements as determined by the Province.

While detailed 2021 census results were not available at the time of writing the report, key analyses and results will be updated upon its availability later in 2022.

What Next?

Although this report is not in itself an action plan, it will inform ongoing work at the municipality that is delivering recommendations and solutions for housing, including:

  • The Implementation of the recommendations from the Mayor’s Task Force on Resident Housing, that are currently in-progress and continue to increase the supply of employee-restricted housing
  • The Accessibility Action Plan, currently in-progress and expected to be finalized later in 2022
  • The Balance Model Initiative, currently in-progress and expected to deliver recommendations later in 2022

Read the full report here

Watch the presentation to council here

Read the 2021 market residential housing survey results here


For questions or comments please contact economicdevelopment@whistler.ca

Related Links

Mayor’s Task Force on Residential Housing

Balance Model Initiative

Whistler Community Life Survey

Whistler 2021 Housing Survey

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