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 23rd 2019 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 rents with reference to income categories, establishing maximum incomes and asset limits and unit eligibility based on household makeup. The asset limits include both real estate and other assets such as investments in financial markets, tax free savings accounts or GICs, but not RRSPs or private pension plans.
-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.
Learn more about the changes to the WHA Rental program and how household rental rates are calculated HERE.
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.