Pique n' your interest 

At 400, or at 30, why worry?

I’m the 400 th person on the waitlist for employee housing in Whistler.

Those who have been on the list for several years and are still sitting there, waiting, know just how depressing that is. Those who are still procrastinating before getting on the list, just as I did for three years, also know how depressing that is.

The future isn’t looking good.

Here’s how I see it.

Every year 25 units in the Whistler Housing Authority turn over and are offered to the people on the waitlist. That means after four years I’ll have moved up to 300 on the list. It’ll be 2008 and I’ll be 34 years old. By 2010 when the world comes to Whistler for the Olympics, I’ll be at 250 on the list and 36 years old – that thought just sent shivers down my spine.

I could rework these numbers all day into a number of different scenarios and the thing that I keep coming up with is that I’ll be a lot older by the time I’m at the top of the waitlist.

It’s true that some of the 400 waitlisters will get fed up of waiting and move on to other places, disgruntled by Whistler, in which case I’ll be able to move up a few more spots.

But at the current pace, that waitlist is dragging on at a snail’s pace.

I know of at least 10 people, who are making their long-term plans to live in Whistler, and have yet to even get on the list.

So there are far more than 400 people looking for employee housing.

But a big project could change all of that.

Should the municipality decide to build, or work out a deal with a developer to build, a big employee housing project that list could shrink overnight, then I, along with all those other Whistler employees, would be kicking back in my own home. It would be a small home and it would still cost more money than I could ever imagine. But it would be my home. It would be a start.

But here’s the kicker.

Why would the municipality build a large employee housing project before the Olympics when they know the athletes village will be turned into lots of employee housing in 2011?

They wouldn’t.

And that’s not good news for me.

That means that employee housing isn’t really on option for me unless I’m willing to wait for another seven years to get it. I’m not.

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