People who have lived or worked in Whistler for at least the past five consecutive years will be eligible for a preliminary lottery for 25 per cent of the units in future employee housing projects, under lottery qualifications presented Monday. Nine criteria for entering future employee housing lotteries have been drawn up by the Whistler Valley Housing Society since the Feb. 28 lottery for the Millar’s Pond project. More than 700 people entered that lottery for the right to purchase one of 85 units in the project. Council accepted the criteria as information, but they are expected to be in effect when the Barnfield Farm and Gondola 6 housing projects go to lottery later this summer or in the fall. Other criteria are: 1) All entrants must be of legal age, Canadian citizens or landed immigrants and must be qualified employees or retirees. 2) All entrants or their employer must be a current member in good standing of the Whistler Valley Housing Society. 3) All applicants must not own either personally, jointly or indirectly through business assets any real estate anywhere at the time of application deadline, with two exceptions: a) Qualification as per one of the following underhoused formulas whereby: i) a couple own a dwelling of less than 650 sq. ft. ii) a couple/single parent with one child own a dwelling less than 850 sq. ft. iii) a couple/single parent with two or more children own a dwelling that is less than 1,200 sq. ft. b) Qualification whereby the most current assessed value of your primary residence does not exceed 60 per cent of the estimated market value of the new project. 4) Couples or roommates planning to hold joint title may only make one entry in the lottery. 5) All entrants/prospective owners must plan to occupy the unit as a primary residence. 6) Lottery selection is not assignable. Any unsuccessful lottery entrant will not be able to be placed on title with a successful applicant. 7) All qualified applicants will be required to sign a statutory declaration confirming the accuracy of their application and provide a refundable $500 deposit to the housing society. 8) Any prospective entrants who may not qualify under the above noted lottery criteria may apply in writing to the Whistler Valley Housing Society Appeal Panel for special inclusion under special or unusual circumstances. The ninth criteria — setting aside 25 per cent of the units in a project for a lottery among people who have lived or worked in Whistler for the previous five consecutive years or more — also states that those who are not successful will be automatically entered into the lottery for the balance of the units. The new criteria allow people who have given up on the Whistler market and bought a place in Squamish or Pemberton a chance to get back into Whistler. "Anybody willing to commute daily (from Pemberton or Squamish) has shown a commitment to Whistler and deserves entry (into the lottery)," Councillor Hugh O’Reilly said. Giving long-term residents a better chance in housing lotteries is not unique to Whistler. In Aspen, to be eligible to enter the lottery to rent or purchase a unit operated by the Aspen Housing Authority you must have lived in the county for at least four years. There is also an income cap on lottery applicants in Aspen, who have to submit a copy of their tax records before qualifying for lotteries.