Vulnerable Populations Housing Needs Assessment

A comprehensive assessment of vulnerable populations’ housing needs in the Whistler community.


The project’s key purpose is to identify the existing supply of and community need for:  

  • Emergency shelters;
  • Transitional and supportive housing;
  • Supportive rental housing; 
  • Non-market rental housing; and  
  • Other housing that targets the needs of vulnerable populations.  

The report will be a key tool to help guide delivery of housing projects and to further pursue grant opportunities to secure affordable and stable housing.  

Project findings will also help to identify linkages with related planning topics such as Whistler’s market and employee restricted housing supplies, transportation options for the community, and strategic planning. 

In May 2022, the Resort Municipality of Whistler (RMOW) completed a Housing Needs Report, which identified housing challenges and gaps to be addressed in the community. With limited housing options, the number of vulnerable people in the resort community has increased. The 2022 Whistler Housing Needs Report called for further assessment of housing needs for vulnerable populations, calling the work “a very high priority” for the RMOW. 


  • Project planning – winter 2023 
  • Stakeholder engagement – spring 2023 
  • Final report – fall 2023 

Community Engagement

Stakeholders will be invited to participate in one of the upcoming input opportunities to have their feedback included in the project. 

  • Service Provider Focus Group – to involve housing and social services providers in the engagement process. 
  • Public Sector Focus Group – to involve public sector workers in the engagement process. 
  • Resident Interviews – to capture snapshots and housing stories of vulnerable populations with lived experience. 

Invitations to participate in the focus groups or interviews, and follow-up summaries, will be sent directly to identified parties. Feedback will be incorporated in a What We Heard summary and will inform the final report.

Partners and Sponsors

This project is supported by a grant from Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) to embark on a project that addresses social determinants of health and community resiliency. 


Planning Department


  • Market housing – Housing that is privately owned by an individual (or a company) who does not receive direct subsidies to purchase or maintain it. Prices are set by the private market. (Source: BC Government
  • Social housing – Housing that is owned by a not-for-profit organization, a co-op, or a government. Rents are subsidized (usually by the government) making it possible for people with lower incomes to find housing they can afford. Household income must be below certain limits to be eligible. (Source: BC Government
  • Emergency housing (shelter) – Short-stay housing of 30 days or less. Emergency shelters provide single or shared bedrooms or dorm-type sleeping arrangements with varying levels of support to individuals. (Source: BC Government
  • Transitional housing – Housing provided for at least 30 days that can last up to two or three years. It includes the provision of on- or off-site support services to help residents move towards independence and self-sufficiency. (Source: BC Government
  • Supportive Housing – Housing that provides ongoing assistance so residents can live independently:
    • It is available for people who are homeless or at risk-of-homelessness and who may have barriers to housing such as mental illness or substance use 
    • It can be housing for seniors and others who require services such as meals, housekeeping, 24-hour response system and social and recreational activities 
    • It does not include personal assistance services such as bathing, dressing, or medication assistance (Source: BC Government
  • Community Housing – An umbrella term that typically refers to either housing that is owned and operated by non-profit housing societies and housing co-operatives, or housing owned by provincial, territorial, or municipal governments. (Source: CMHC