Updates to WHA Employee Rental Housing Eligibility and Program

There have been recent changes to the eligibility to the Whistler Housing Authority’s rental housing program as part of initiative #7 from the Mayor’s Task Force on Housing: “To refine the employee restricted housing program’s eligibility criteria and enforcement framework” with the goal of optimizing the use of the existing employee restricted homes in the community by making sure they are available for the individuals and families they were intended for.

These changes to the program were adopted by Council on July 23, 2019, and further amended on April 5, 2022 through the RMOW Employee Housing Rental Policy K-01.

The changes include:

- Revising the definition of an employee from a person working a minimum average of 20 hours a week to a minimum average of 30 hours per week on an annualized basis and who works for a qualifying Whistler business. A qualifying Whistler business is one that has a business license from the RMOW, has a business premises physically located in Whistler that primarily serves the Whistler community including residents, homeowners, businesses and tourists with goods and/or services provided within the boundaries of the municipality.

-Implementing a revised rental housing program criteria which includes charging monthly rental rate will be calculated at 30% of the applicant’s Gross Household Income, calculated on an annual basis. Rental Rates will be subject to the Minimum and Maximum Rental Rates.

Note: from July 2019 to April 2022 this was accomplished through a category system that took into account both income and assets. In April 2022 the Policy was amended to replace the income and asset categories with a set percentage of Gross Household Income (30%). 

-As of April 2022, to qualify for Employee Rental Housing, applicants, or the spouse/common law partner must not own, either personally, jointly, or indirectly through business assets any real estate with a residential component anywhere in British Columbia.

Note: Prior to April 2022, assets including real estate ownership anywhere in the world were considered part of the the rental rate calculation for the WHA Rental Program.

-Aligning seniors (55+ employees and retirees) with the standard general waitlist process and eligibility, and changing the definition of retiree from working five of the last six years to 10 of the last 12 years prior to ceasing active fulltime employment in Whistler. Seniors will still have priority to purpose-built seniors’ residences.

-Additional resources to strengthen enforcement of both the employee housing rental and purchase programs.

Please note: The changes in eligibility and monthly rent do not apply to existing WHA tenancy agreements. The qualification criteria for WHA purchase units is under review and recommendations will be presented to Council at a future date.

For those on the waitlist for WHA rental units as of July 24, 2019, there will be a grace period up until December 31st, 2020 where they can remain on the rental waitlist and maintain their position if they do not meet the new eligibility qualifications. However, lease agreements will only be offered to applicants that meet the new criteria.

Additional Resources:
WHA Rental Program

WHA Rental Waitlist Application

Thank you for your patience as we update our resources to match the Policy Updates from April 5, 2022.

If you have questions about your eligibility to rent through the WHA, please email mail@whistlerhousing.ca.