He can cook, clean, and even tune your skis and snowboards.
And James Peters will do it all in exchange for a place to live in Whistler.
“As soon as I started looking mid-October I realized that there wasn’t a lot (of accommodation) out there,” said Peters, a self-proclaimed chef and a golf-pro who is now advertising locally to be your butler in return for housing.
“If something comes up… it is gone in an hour and if you are not there to go and look at it and impress the people then it is difficult to get housing for sure.”
Peters, who is based in Surrey, hopes to spend his second
winter working for the Whistler Adaptive Sports Program, which provides the
opportunity for hundreds of people with a wide range of disabilities to take
part in sports and recreation programs.
“The job… was just so rewarding that I decided to come back again this year,” he said.
“This is one of the most rewarding things I have ever done in my life. It brings a lot of joy to work with people who want to be athletes again.”
Peters, who started his own office cleaning company as a high-school student and was in restaurant management at 18 years old, decided that out of the box thinking was the only way to beat the housing crisis in Whistler.
“I see this as part of the solution for the housing crisis,” he said.
“There are people who are highly skilled who are coming (to Whistler) and there are a lot of roles and services we could take on for families in exchange for entirely free living or reduced rent… there just seems to be a lot of other solutions if people are open to looking at them.”
He is willing to prepare and serve two dinner parties a month, clean the home once a week, and as a trained ski technician maintain the family’s ski and snowboarding equipment.
Recently some people looking for housing in Whistler have taken to wearing billboards or busking in the village in the hopes of landing accommodation. One group of Australian women hung a banner outside of their hotel room advertising their need for housing.
The RCMP also put out a warning last week about a rental scam in which a man tried to offer for rent a condo he didn’t own. The scam, which lists a property on Craigslist and then directs people to wire money to an address in Nigeria, has surfaced several times this fall.
The housing situation is likely to get even tighter.
The Whistler Housing Authority’s most recent survey is projecting
that Whistler will need temporary housing for 14,500 people in the Olympic
Nearly 30 per cent of Whistler’s employers indicated in the
survey that they were unable to meet their staffing requirements during the
2007-08 winter (an increase from 23 per cent in 2006-07) because of a shortage
of affordable housing and the high cost of living in Whistler.
To book your interview with Peters call 778-997-5867 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org .