This is a yarn about the desperate need for more employee housing.
Firstly, Ill admit that my house finding mission started too close to the winter season but I had no choice because there was a possibility that I was going to have to leave Canada. As it turned out, I didnt have to leave and so began my mission to find some long-term accommodation.
But it wasnt long before I realized this would not be a mission to find a home, it would be a rude awakening through which I would experience, and hear a lot about, bigotry, stupidity and utter desperation.
As with any house hunt it started with the phone and e-mail, and I work at the Pique so its not like I ever got the classified advertisements late.
During the first week of my mission I made about 25 calls one person got back to me. This person wanted me to sign a one-year lease even though I had no idea who he was and vice versa in a house where we would use the same front door to go in and out and there was no kitchen. He said they had a "kitchenette" but it wasnt a kitchen, and there was no where to sit down and eat.
The price: $750 a month and he had had 250 phone calls about it in three days! I decided it was too small, but Im sure someone else signed the papers by 10 a.m. the next day.
Back to the phone and the e-mail. It wasnt long before my price limit went out the window and I was calling anyone who had anything below $950, despite the fact that I could not afford anything near this price.
Then, at about 9:30 p.m. on a Tuesday, I cottoned onto a great house in a nice location. I turned up and the sub-letter was interviewing someone else about the room. Then he sits down and tells me that hes had a couple offer him about $400 more than the advertised price of the apartment. This means that this sub-letter gets to live in Whistler basically for free because he happened to be in charge of the lease when someone moved out of an apartment.
Not surprisingly, he called me back and said hed given the room to the couple. Back to the e-mail and phone calls.
At this point I was willing to live with a couple of giraffes and dead rhino for $250 a night, so I called everything thats available in Whistler. No one calls or e-mails back, so I call again. Then finally a woman picks up the phone and says "yes, weve got a room but we usually like to rent to Japanese."