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Businesses show interest in employee housing

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Scores of businesses have responded to the employee housing survey circulated by Whistler’s Chamber of Commerce.

"It’s a healthy start," said Chamber vice-president Ian Davis, who heads up the business community’s task force set up to handle the survey.

To date 45 small businesses have responded to the survey, requesting 170 bedrooms.

The Whistler Housing Authority, which is keeping track of the surveys, estimates that each bedroom will house 1.5 employees.

Some of the larger employers in town are being approached this week to see if they have any interest in filling out the survey said Davis.

It’s their last chance to get on board, as final numbers will be tabulated next week.

"I’m encouraged by the fact that we have 170 spots spoken for," said Davis.

"(I) hope that the rest of the businesses see the article and respond to the personal attention of committee members.

"(They need to) think about what their needs are, and what their needs will be in the future, and get us up to a figure that the council just can’t ignore."

This is one of the busiest times of the year for business owners, said Davis.

"To get their attention to the degree that we have so far is impressive," he said.

The idea behind the survey is to find out how many businesses would be interested in renting accommodation, for at least a year, for their employees.

The housing is not built yet, so no details are available about where it would be or what it would look like.

But it is likely it would offer one-, two-, and three-bedroom accommodations and would hopefully be ready for next season.

The units would be rented at an affordable rate, established by covenant, from the developer by businesses. That way the developer-landlord would have secure income but the employers would control of who lived there.

The units would be rented out to employees under a licence of occupation so employers would keep control of who lived there.

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