WHA: Rental market tracking on par to last year 

Roughly 100 more full-time positions needed this winter

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Despite the rental crunch dominating water cooler and coffee shop conversations this fall, the number of suites available is roughly the same as last year.

"We're not experiencing a higher level of volume right now," added WHA general manager Marla Zucht during her presentation to council Tuesday on the 2014 Employer Housing Needs Assessment report.

But as Whistler gears up for a busy winter, on the back of a record-breaking summer, there will likely be more pressure on the rental market.

"The flipside of that success is that the rental market is going to be tight this coming winter," said Zucht.

The WHA tracks suites up for rent in the paper and online, as it has been doing for many years.

The report presented on Tuesday anticipates there will be a slight increase in the workforce this winter, based on feedback from local employers.

Roughly 12,500 full-time equivalent positions will be needed this year, up 0.8 per cent over the 12,400 FTE's last year, which was up 1.6 per cent over 2012/13.

Meanwhile, last year 12 per cent of businesses reported were unable to meet all their staffing needs, listing a variety of reasons — housing was barely mentioned on the list.

Zucht said she is hoping to have more insight into the rental market through a new research tool from the BC Non-Profit Housing Association. A community profile for Whistler will be created online including information such as the number of rental households, average household income and average monthly rent, among other things.

"We don't have a lot of statistical information on households that rent," said Zucht.

"I believe it's going to be a useful tool going forward."

She is hoping some information will be available closer to the end of November.

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