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Youth need affordable housing if they are to call Whistler home

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The popularity of the resort is continuing to drive up real estate prices making owning a family home a dream for most.

"Even though we all work our butts off we still can’t afford to buy in this town we are so proud to live in," said Rob Usher.

"It is a tragedy. It is a tragedy that you can’t afford to live in this town."

Usher and Michelle Harlington also bemoaned the lack of serious mates in the resort and the impact housing issues have when people think of settling down and starting a family.

Harlington’s main concern was the Olympics.

"My main question is how are the Olympics sustainable and how they fit into these issues," she said.

"I also want to be part of the picture, part of creating something so that I can raise my own family here one day.

"I want it to stay pretty much as it is now. I don’t want there to be a four lane highway making us just another suburb of Vancouver.

"I like that you can go out into the bush or go up the chairlift and be totally far away and not see another person. But then I can also go into the village and get a Starbucks coffee.

"I don’t want it to get crazy."

Harlington, who has lived here for five years, was excited to have a chance to get her points of view across but she had some reservations about what would happen next.

"Whether they will take our concerns and move to the next level, well, we will just have to wait and see."

Usher went to the meeting in the hopes of reminding everyone about the importance of keeping a local community in Whistler.

"In order to have an identity you need to have a local population," he said.

"I’m very proud to be here. I see tourism as a necessary evil. The tourists here are giving me my job.

"I want to raise a family here and so we need some realistic housing options and prices for locals.

"There needs to be put in place a system for locals. Say you shop at the IGA you should get a discount if you live here all year ’round.

"Without us there is no Whistler."

All were concerned about the environment and how increasing the number of cars into the resort may well damage the town in the long run.

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