Employee housing homeowner fined for nightly rentals 

A local owner of resident restricted housing has been fined for illegally renting out her home in 19 Mile Creek to tourists.

This marks the first time the Whistler Housing Authority has ever successfully fined a homeowner in an employee housing unit for illegal rentals.

"In order to create this housing stock the community as a whole makes concessions," said WHA General Manager Tim Wake.

"And in return for these concessions, the community benefit is that we have housing that works for locals. Obviously if it gets used for something other than housing people who are working here, it’s a loss to the community."

Homeowner Evangeline Cannon admitted to the WHA that she rented out her home for four days over Christmas last year.

But she said this week that she was just doing what many people in Whistler do to get by.

"…I just feel like if you are a property owner and you’re paying such a large… amount to live here in terms of property taxes and prices of property… I really do feel like it’s our right to cash in on that," she said.

"We pay a lot more to live here therefore we should be able to reap some of the benefits and that is, people wanting to come and stay here.

"I feel like I didn’t do anything wrong, even though I know it’s against bylaws. I feel justified in doing it. And I know that a lot of people in Whistler do do it."

The WHA first learned about the illegal rentals late last year when the municipality’s bylaw department found the 19 Mile Creek house advertised on a tourist accommodation Web site last December.

At that time Cannon was advised in writing that under the employee housing covenant she could not rent out her home except to Whistler employees and then it must be rented on a monthly basis for no more than $500/month per bedroom.

Then two months later, in February, reports came into the WHA with evidence to back up claims that the unit was being rented nightly over Christmas and Presidents’ Week.

Cannon was asked to fill out a statutory declaration for the period of time stretching from Dec. 15 to the end of February. Under the statutory declaration she had to list who had been living in her house, where they worked within the resort and how much rent they had been paying.

The WHA can demand a statutory declaration up to four times each year under the employee housing covenant.

"In this case Ms. Cannon was going to be faced with a much larger fine if she didn’t complete the statutory declaration," said Wake.

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