Resort News, Whistler News

Whistler Pioneers Affordable Housing Model For Canada

Vancouver Models Housing After Whistler Real Estate

Canadian Mountain Resort Communities Model For Successful Affordable Housing Strategy.

Whistler was the first mountain resort in Canada to create housing affordability in a highly attractable destination, with Banff and Canmore in Alberta following suit. The discussion of real estate prices had been a hot topic in the resort community as the housing prices outpaced the salaries of the local Whistler workforce.

In 1997, Whistler became the resort community in Canada to pioneer affordable housing in the province and is now championing it’s highly refined model across the country. Now Vancouver, one of the most expensive cities in the world to live in is following in Whistler’s footsteps.

On Wednesday, Vancouver’s city council approved a series of questionable actions aiming to make Vancouver more affordable for current and future residents. Among the strategies approved, one option is to create housing to be sold lower than market value by as much as 20 per cent, an agreement that would remain in place until the housing structure was torn down.

Whistler Current Property Restrictions…

In Whistler, housing sales of such property are restricted to Whistler residents who are either employed in the city or have retired from the local workforce. Occupants are restricted from privately renting the units or reselling the units beyond a maximum price set by Whistler’s Housing Authority. If properties receive multiple offers at the maximum price on a property, then the buyer is chosen in according to their priority in the 400 person wait list.

Vancouver’s model will likely work the same way with its restricted-housing model focused residents who work in the city but can’t afford to buy into the local market. Similar to Whistler’s model, applicants will be selected based on a proven need.

The lower-market housing concept is listed amongst the private-sector plans that Vancouver is considering for development within 100 metres or 1.5 blocks of the city’s major streets. The plan includes townhouses, row housing, and up to six-storey towers.

The city is also encouraging housing developments that are 100-per-cent rental under this new strategy.

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