One last chance for Phoenix initiative 

Board evaluating three new proposals; decision by Sept. 22

The Phoenix housing initiative is still alive, at least for another two weeks.

The Phoenix board announced Friday afternoon that it will take until Sept. 22 to evaluate three new proposals for temporary employee housing, to be in place for this winter and through the 2010 Winter Olympics.

Since the announcement two weeks ago that the original supplier of temporary housing, SG Blocks, had run into financing problems the Phoenix board said “the media attention has brought other potential suppliers forward and while we still believe this is a long-shot given the limited timeframe, we are going to thoroughly evaluate the proposals received. In the interest of time, we will limit our evaluations to the top three suppliers that have come forward. Those suppliers are groups that we feel have the capability to guarantee that they can deliver the project on time and on budget.

“Although we know the business participants have been extremely patient, we need the time to properly analyze proposals before ruling out this option. We have set a hard and fast deadline of Sept. 22, 2008 to make a final decision.”

The temporary employee housing project, spearheaded by the Whistler Chamber of Commerce, the Whistler Housing Authority, Whistler-Blackcomb and the municipality, was expected to provide beds for 308 employees over the next 18 months. Whistler businesses were asked to provide cash deposits on the beds. Demand from businesses exceeded the number of beds available.

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