David P. Ball ~ Answers To Affordable Housing Are ‘Everywhere’
Vancouverites love to gripe about real estate prices, arguably with good cause. But we may be ignoring solutions to our complaints that are sometimes right under our noses.
Just look two hours north — to the resort town of Whistler.
Twenty years ago the luxury tourist destination, an economic powerhouse for the province, faced a housing crisis. Trapped in a mountain valley, available land dwindled, real estate prices skyrocketed, and local employees wondered if they could afford to live there at all.
Sound familiar? Vancouver’s escalating crisis today is all too similar, with wealthy buyers and scarce land pushing more and more ordinary working families out of the city altogether.
As often from crisis, opportunities emerged in Whistler. In 1997 the municipality created a new public Whistler Housing Authority. Its first task: increase rental stock.