Please note: WHA leases start at a minimum of 12 months, and the waitlist to rent through our program is an estimated 2 year wait time at the moment. 

Am I eligible for WHA Employee Restricted Rental Housing?

All applicants are required to meet a number of relevant criteria (numbers 1 through 6, below) to be eligible for employee restricted rental housing.  

  1. At least one applicant and all occupants (unless dependents) must meet the definition of employee for the duration of their tenancy (definition below).

A secondary applicant is the partner or spouse you are applying with.  When there are 2 applicants in a relationship, only the Primary applicant must be considered a Whistler employee or retiree for the duration of their tenancy.

An employee is, for the purpose of employee housing, to mean a person who:

  1. Is either employed or self-employed on an annual basis for an annual average of at least 20 hours per week and whose employment justifies residing in Whistler and directly relates to the provision of goods and services within the municipality; or
  2. Is at least 55 years of age and has ceased active employment but who has been an employee (defined above in i.) for at least five of the past six years, prior to ceasing employment.

 

  1. At least one applicant and all occupants (unless dependents) must meet the residency requirements:
  • Canadian citizen; or
  • Permanent Resident of Canada

 

  1. You and all occupants must occupy the unit as your permanent primary residence.

The employee restricted rental unit will be the place you and all occupants will ordinarily and continually occupy as your primary residence on a full-time basis.

The Tenant will not sub-let or assign the employee rental unit without the Landlord’s consent.

  1. The applicant(s) and all occupants must not own any real estate anywhere in the world.

Applicants, including their spouse, and all occupants must not own, either personally, jointly, or indirectly through business assets any real estate at the time of application, during their time on the WHA Rental Waitlist. This includes both residential and commercial real estate.

The WHA may make exceptions to this on a case-by-case basis.

  1. No corporate or business applications are allowed.
  2. You must keep your application up to date.

Every year WHA Rental Waitlist members are required to complete a declaration confirming that the information on file is still current and true.

  • If an applicant does not confirm their application information before the declaration deadline, his or her application will be cancelled, their position on the WHA Rental Waitlist will be forfeited and the applicant will need to complete a new application in order to be considered for employee housing in the future.

 

If I’m on the WHA Rental Waitlist, am I guaranteed a rental unit?

No, the WHA retains the right to determine who it does or does not rent to. Applicants and WHA Rental Waitlist Members may be excluded from consideration for WHA employee housing if any of the following apply:

  • Failure to provide documents as requested, or consent as needed to verify information provided and to determine eligibility.
  • Unable to demonstrate an ability to pay rent.
  • Do not meet eligibility requirements.
  • If there is cause to believe that a household member is engaging in or has a history of criminal activity that may threaten the health, safety or right of peaceful enjoyment of the community by others, including the manufacturing or production of illegal drugs.
  • Unsatisfactory tenancy history (based on landlord references (see below), receipt of notices to end tenancies, or review of past tenancies in subsidized housing).
  • Provision of false or fraudulent information.

 

Note: Applicants who may be potentially excluded based on any of the above will be provided with an opportunity to provide additional information and/or documentation in support of their application to demonstrate suitability as a potential tenant. Each application and supporting documents shall be evaluated on its own merit.

Who is considered a dependent child?

A child, stepchild, adopted child or legal ward, mainly supported by the applicant, who is:

  • Under 19 years of age; or
  • Of any age who, because of mental or physical infirmity, is accepted as a dependent for income tax purposes; or
  • Between 19 and 25 years of age and registered and attending full-time school, university or vocational institute which provides a recognized diploma, certificate, or degree.

Note: Full-time attendance means enrolment in the minimum of credit courses specified by the institution to be considered full-time, or if not specified by the institution, enrolment in a minimum of 15 hours of classroom instruction per week in each school term.

Why should I go on the WHA Rental Waitlist?

The WHA’s rental accommodations are typically less expensive than many private market rentals and provide a secure long-term rental accommodation. Once you have a unit, your lease will provide you with security and be renewed annually if you are a good tenant.

What type of housing is available for Whistler employees?

The Whistler Housing Authority (WHA) controls an inventory of both rental and for ownership units that are price restricted and are only available to Whistler residents who meet employment requirements in Whistler.

What types of rental accommodations does the WHA have?

The WHA has units in apartment buildings and townhouse complexes in a range of sizes. These include studio units, 1, 2, and 3 bedroom units, and one duplex (two units). All accommodations are long-term rentals, with a minimum one year lease for Whistler’s employees. In order to be offered one of these units, you must have your name on the WHA Rental Waitlist.

For detailed information on WHA rental inventory, click here.

How long are the leases? Can I have a seasonal lease?

The WHA leases start at a minimum one-year (12 month) fixed-term lease, that continues on a month-to-month basis and is subject to annual rent increases after that first year is up. The WHA does not provide seasonal leases.

How long would I need to wait for a unit to become available?

This can vary, but most people can expect to be on the WHA Rental Waitlist for at least 2 years.

How do I get on the WHA Rental Waitlist?

The first step is to check to see if you meet the eligibility requirements (see above, “Am I eligible for WHA Employee Restricted Rental Housing?”). If you qualify, you may complete an online WHA Rental Waitlist Application. The waitlist is administered in a first-come-first-served order.

On the application form, what is the difference between ‘Applicant’ and ‘Occupant’?

“Applicants” can be a single person who works in Whistler, or two people in a spousal or common-law relationship who both work in Whistler. All applicants must meet the eligibility requirements (see above, “Am I eligible for WHA Employee housing?”).

If you are a couple trying to decide who should be the primary applicant and who should be the secondary one, keep in mind that the primary applicant must be eligible.

  • For example, Sara and Jerry are married. Sara works full time at Whistler Blackcomb, while Jerry telecommutes for a software company in Germany. Because Gerry is not an eligible employee, he would be listed as the secondary applicant.
    • In this example, Gerry would not normally (as a primary applicant or occupant) be qualified for WHA Rental housing, but as a couple in a relationship, Gerry meets the rules of exception.

An occupant is anyone else living in the house, dependent children or roommates. Adult occupants must meet the eligibility requirements (see above, “Am I eligible for WHA Employee housing?”).

Why does the application form ask for the housing situation and current rental rate of the applicant(s)?

Knowing the current rental rates of employees waitlisted for Non-Market WHA properties helps inform us on the current market trends and employee needs.

  • We use this data as a measurement of our success and impact on the community.
  • We don’t use this information to calculate ‘what you can afford’ to pay when you are offered a unit for tenancy.
  • Anytime the data is used for analysis, it is “non-identifying” – meaning we remove any reference to the applicant’s identity.

I plan on sharing my unit with additional occupants. How do I determine the amount of rent that can be charged?

All adult occupants must be on the lease. Rental rates can be clarified on a case-by-case basis.

How will I be contacted?

When there is a vacancy in a rental unit, the WHA (or a property management representative) will email applicants on the WHA Rental Waitlist to let them know the details of the available unit. Waitlist members are always offered the opportunity to view units prior to signing a lease.  Interested waitlist members will be required to provide additional information to confirm they are still eligible for WHA’s employee restricted housing.

Applicant evaluation processes may include:       

  • Personal interviews
  • Verification of information provided on your application (employment of you and any other occupants in the household)
  • Requesting your consent for completion of a Credit Check
  • Completion of Reference Checks

How much will I pay?

WHA rental rates are set at, or below, private market rents. The amount you will pay depends on the size of the unit and the apartment building or townhouse complex. View information on indicative/sample monthly rent for new tenants here.

Some other charges may include:

  • Security deposit – A mandatory half a month’s security deposit is held by the landlord and will be returned when your tenancy ends, if there has been no damage to the unit.
  • Pet deposit – In units that allow pets, pet owners may be required to pay a pet deposit.
  • Other charges may include:
    • Telecommunications
    • Laundry
    • Parking
    • Utilities (note: some units include utilities)

Your rent may increase annually based on the allowable rental increase determined by the BC Residential Tenancy Branch.

Can I choose the building/complex/property I am interested in?

When a unit is offered to you, you can decline interest and not lose your standing on the waitlist.

Can I have a pet?

The WHA’s current pet policy allows for one pet per property at certain WHA employee rental properties. This information will be included in the email when a unit comes available.

Registered guide or support pets are permitted at any of WHA’s properties.

What if my employment or household needs change?

Every year waitlisted members and tenants are required to complete a declaration confirming that the information on file is still current and true. They will be prompted by email when it’s time to do so.

I need housing now, what should I do?

WHA’s employee restricted non-market rental units are offered first to members at the top of the WHA Rental Waitlist. At this time, it is unlikely a new waitlist member would get housing right away, and a 2 year minimum wait is more realistic. The WHA offers a free service for landlords to list their rental units (these are not WHA properties) on the WHA website (click on Available Properties). [See the New to Whistler section of the WHA website].

Can you give me some general advice on renting in Whistler?

See the New to Whistler section of the WHA website.

Are there rental accommodations in Whistler that are not controlled by the WHA?

Lots of it! The private sector provides most of the rental housing in Whistler in the form of private rooms or shared rooms, suites, townhouses, and detached homes. These opportunities can be found in the classifieds in Whistler’s local newspaper, online, or on notice boards around town. There is also have a free listing service for landlords on the WHA website (see private rental listings on WHA website).

I am having trouble with my landlord, can the WHA help me?

Free residential tenancy information can be obtained by using the Residential Tenancy Branch’s Solution Explorer tool or contacting the Residential Tenancy Branch at 1-800-665-8779 or HSRTO@gov.bc.ca. Their website is www.rto.gov.bc.ca.

You can also contact the Tenants Resource Advisory Center at 1-800-665-1185 or visit their website at www.tenants.bc.ca. 

Housing challenges can be stressful, Whistler Community Services Society has a team of Outreach Workers that can provide no-cost, confidential support. There is more information available at https://mywcss.org/programs/outreach/ or you can call their office at 604-392-0113.

The WHA is not qualified to give legal advice.

Where is the WHA office located?

325 - 2400 Dave Murray Place

(3rd floor of the Beaver Flats Apartment Building in Creekside)