News » Whistler

Half a million dollars for Rainbow housing

But 70 families pre-approved



A small single family home at Rainbow, price restricted to make it affordable for Whistler residents, could cost almost half a million dollars.

That doesn’t worry Whistler Housing Authority General Manager Marla Zucht, who pointed out that there are 70 individual families on the waitlist who are pre-approved for a mortgage of $450,000 or higher.

"It’s meeting a desire," she said.

Each of the 70 single family employee housing lots at Rainbow will cost $110,000. The duplex lots will cost $130,000. That includes site servicing and prep work so that each site is ready for construction.

Though the finer details of how the process will unfold have yet to be worked out, it is assumed that waitlisters will then be able to choose a pre-approved housing design. They will not be building the homes themselves or hiring general contractors.

The biggest homes will be 2,200 square feet.

Zucht said construction costs are currently in the range of $200 per square foot. An 1,800 square foot home costing $200 a square foot will cost $360,000, plus the cost of the land. The homes are expected to range in size, priced between $450,000 to $600,000.

A duplex at 1,300 square feet would cost $260,000 to build plus $65,000 for the cost of half the duplex lot.

In his report to council, Bob MacPherson, general manager of planning and development wrote: "It is understood that the Rainbow Development will deliver housing directed generally toward the higher-end of resident affordability (as per the waitlist)."

The homes will come on in a phased development with roughly 25 ready by 2008, if the bylaws are approved this spring/summer.

Whistler Rainbow Properties will have the first crack at providing the housing for the residents. If they cannot agree with the WHA on a design and cost, the municipality will buy the lots for $110,000 and develop them themselves.

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