Frustrated by the lack of progress being made on affordable housing, members of the Whistler Valley Housing Society board have passed a motion urging the municipality to immediately process any rezoning applications for employee housing, rather than wait for results of the proposal call.
A second motion passed Sunday recommended the board be given responsibility for the employee housing fund — expected to reach $6 million by the end of the year — and that at least some of the money be spent in 1997 to build some affordable housing.
"There is some frustration within the society," Councillor Kristi Wells admitted.
Wells was the only member of the housing society board to vote in favour of another proposal call for affordable housing.
"It gets it all out front, puts all the players into the pool at once, so we can make solid decisions in 1997," she said Monday.
Wells also predicted this proposal call will likely be the last time the municipality gets any proposals for affordable housing that don’t include a subsidy, likely in the form of the municipality buying land.
Councillor Max Kirkpatrick, who chairs the housing society board, had told council previously that board members don’t favour another proposal call and that the board and council likely already know who is going to come forward with proposals.
Council has issued the proposal call, with the deadline being Nov. 15. All proposals are expected to be on display at the annual Town Hall Meeting, now scheduled for Nov. 24.
But the proposal call is not the only source of frustration for the housing society board. Both Wells and Kirkpatrick said the board is limited by the mandate it currently operates under.
"The Whistler Valley Housing Society doesn’t want to be setting policy, we want to be in bricks and mortar, bringing projects forward to council," Kirkpatrick said.
Part of the board’s second motion, in addition to asking for responsibility of the employee housing fund, states that the board "has no continuing interest in advising on matters of policy planning as it relates to employee housing and recommends an advisory role be established."
Kirkpatrick said the board is proposing the housing society’s mandate and some of the rules it operates under be changed at the annual general meeting, which will be held in November. The size of the board is also likely to be reduced, from 12 to seven, with three members appointed by council and four elected.
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Applications for the lottery for the 23 single family affordable housing lots in Barnfield Farm will be available at municipal hall starting Oct. 15. The deadline to enter the lottery will be Oct. 30 and the draw will be held at the Whistler Valley Housing Society’s annual general meeting, sometime during the first two weeks of November.
The housing society will have someone at municipal hall to assist with applications between noon and 4 p.m. each week day from Oct. 15 to 30.
The lottery is open to full-time Whistler residents who are members of the housing society or whose employers are members of the housing society. A deposit will be required with all lottery applications.
The single family Barnfield Farm lots will be sold for about $85,000. The lots are smaller than most and houses will be less than 2,000 square feet. There will also be restrictions on the resale price of the properties.
Kirkpatrick expects about 150 entries in the lottery.