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The once and future housing solution

New chair Nick Davies discusses the opportunities, priorities and directions for the Whistler Housing Authority

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The way we put a stop to it is to allow people that have parcels of property to pull some of their capital out and stay in the community.

If we don’t allow them to do that they’re going to pull their capital out and go to some other community….

At the moment, your average lawyer or doctor or businessperson in this town can’t afford to buy a million and a half-dollar tear-down and then build another house on it.

Q: Council has debated this issue of revisiting the $155 per square foot formula to deliver employee beds. Essentially what that means is that developers are charged with delivering the housing at a cost of $155 per square foot. Do you think this number should change and why?

A: This is something that we’ve been talking about at the housing authority (and) talking about with builders. …Where this (number) becomes critical is when we are trying to induce developers to deliver employee housing where they must at least recover the cost of that housing. For example, there are smaller parcels of land around where it would be worthwhile for a developer to apply for a rezoning and build some market housing and then build some other single family housing and then put it onto the market at cost. But if they’re forced to put it onto the market at significantly less than cost, it doesn’t make sense and the project goes nowhere. So then the question becomes, what does it really cost to build housing in that sort of scenario?