millars pond 

Locals interested in the Millar’s Pond affordable housing project should mark Feb. 7 on their calendar to find out more, and Feb. 28 as the date to be packing horseshoes. Details on the design, pricing and mortgage opportunities for the 85 units in the Millar’s Pond project will be discussed at two meetings in the conference centre Feb. 7, at noon and 7 p.m. Everyone who attends will receive an information package they can take home with them, says Matthew Coté of Columbus Properties, developers of the project. On Feb. 28 85 names will be drawn for the chance to purchase one of the studio, one, two or three bedroom units, which are restricted to full-time Whistler residents. The 1,200 square foot three-bedroom units will sell for about $144,500; the 890 square foot two-bedroom units will go for about $107,000; the 675 square foot one-bedroom apartments will sell for $81,000 and the studio units, which are 475 square feet plus a loft, will sell for $57,000. Canada Mortgage and Housing has agreed to provide high-ratio financing for the project. Monthly mortgage payments should be well below market rental rates for similar units. The units will be offered for sale to full-time Whistler residents who don’t own property. If they own property they will have to sell it within six months. While Whistler residents will have first right to buy the units — and demand is expected to far exceed the 85 units — they may be re-sold to non-residents, however the occupants of the units must always be Whistler residents. In addition to the occupancy restriction, council Friday took steps to limit the profits that may be made when the units are re-sold. A complicated formula will be used to create a re-sale price control index, which is intended to take away any windfall profits. "We’ve always had control on who could buy into these projects," acting mayor Hugh O’Reilly said. "Now we hope to have control when people get out. We’re trying to control the appreciation." In addition to limited profits on re-sale, bedrooms can not be rented out for more than $500 per month. The project represents Whistler’s first attempt to control rents.

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