19 mile housing 

Eighty per cent of units at the 19 Mile Creek employee housing project have been sold, but the remaining units are available to any Whistler resident on a first come, first served basis. "I don’t know if people know how easy it is to get into financially," said Andy Skerlec, a real estate agent for the privately developed project. Skerlec said because interest rates are so low and there is CMHC approval for a 5 per cent down payment, a Whistler resident could get into a three-bedroom unit for $10,000 down and have a mortgage of about $1,300 per month. The 19 Mile Creek units were first offered to local residents who registered for the Whistler Housing Authority’s wait list. Everyone on the list has now had the opportunity to buy a unit, but it appears there are still many people who qualify but aren’t on the list. Units in the two buildings closest to the highway were aimed at Whistler Chamber of Commerce businesses, who were expected to buy the units and rent them to their employees. Only a couple of those units were purchased by businesses for use as staff accommodation, but several business owners have bought and intend to live in the units themselves. Tim Wake of the Whistler Housing Authority said the whole 19 Mile Creek project was weighted heavily toward three-bedroom units, based on the developers’ findings from previous projects. The fact that there are still three-bedroom units available suggests the demand for that size of unit may have been met, for now. "I think we have to go through the process to find out exactly what the message is," Wake said. "What people say on a survey may be different from what they can afford." The housing authority is planning on conducting another employee housing survey this summer. Some 19 Mile Creek units may be ready for occupancy before Christmas, but most will be finished next spring.

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