New Affordable Homes Open in Whistler


March 26, 2021

WHISTLER - Every Canadian deserves a safe and affordable place to call home.

Today, the Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development and Minister responsible for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), along with David Eby, Attorney General and Minister Responsible for Housing announced details of a total investment of $25.1 million dollars for the recently completed Granite Ridge project in Whistler.

Of this amount, $4.5 million is through the BC Priorities Housing Initiative grant – an initiative under the Canada–British Columbia Bilateral Agreement on housing. The B.C. government, through BC Housing’s HousingHub, provided low-cost construction financing of approximately $10.2 million, which helped reduce the cost of the project for the Whistler Housing Authority. The final portion of this funding, $10.4 million, is being provided by the Government of Canada through the National Housing Co-Investment Fund (NHCF).

This project is a partnership between the Government of Canada, through Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), the Province of B.C. through BC Housing, the Whistler Housing Authority, and the Resort Municipality of Whistler.

Located at 1330 Cloudburst Dr., the project provides 45 affordable rental homes for people for who work in Whistler. More than 100 residents are moving into the three-storey building, which includes 12 studio units, 12 one-bedroom units, 17 two-bedroom units and four three-bedroom units. Monthly rents are set well below the local average market rental rate.

Managed by Whistler Housing Authority, the project is helping to address the need for workforce housing in the community. Whistler has a high percentage of workforce employed in the resort’s service industry. Based on a recent housing assessment, the greatest need in the area is for additional affordable studio, one-bedroom and two-bedroom units that would provide rental relief for the workforce, particularly for young adults in the community.

Whistler Housing Authority has also partnered with Zero Ceiling, a non-profit organization in Whistler committed to ending youth homelessness, to provide a stable, secure, affordable three-bedroom rental unit for marginalized young adults working in Whistler.

Quotes:

The Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development and Minister responsible for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) - 

“Our Government is taking steps, right now, to ensure that every Canadian has a safe and affordable place to call home. Our investments will go a long way to support those who need it most by quickly providing new affordable housing units to vulnerable individuals and families. Our Government’s plan under the National Housing Strategy continues to provide housing for Canadians from coast to coast to coast, including in right here in Whistler.” 

David Eby, Attorney General and Minister Responsible for Housing - 

“We know that people are struggling to find affordable housing, which is forcing them to commute from further and further away. These new rental homes will help give people working in Whistler the ability to live where they work. Through partnerships like this, we are building the homes that people need to stay in their community.”

Patrick Weiler, Member of Parliament for West Vancouver – Sunshine Coast – Sea to Sky Country - 

“Today’s announcement shows what is possible when there is a commitment of all orders of government to work together. The result is Granite Ridge, which is now providing 45 safe, affordable workforce housing units in Whistler. Addressing our affordable housing challenge, and ensuring that the people that work in Whistler can afford to live in Whistler would also not have been possible without the local leadership of the Whistler Housing Authority.”

Jack Crompton, Mayor of Whistler - 

“The Resort Municipality of Whistler is grateful to the Province, BC Housing, CMHC and our housing partners for this critical investment in Whistler and in our community members. Access to affordable, resident housing is not only the foundation that supports our local economy, itis a critical contributor to our community vitality, diversity and connection. We are thrilled to see Granite Ridge transition from a building into a home for over 100 locals.”

Marla Zucht, General Manager, Whistler Housing Authority - 

The Whistler Housing Authority is very appreciative to have received funding and support from both BC Housing and CMHC for Whistler’s newest affordable housing. Whistler is committed to actively confronting housing affordability in our community through the creation of affordable housing that is price and occupancy restricted for the local workforce. Over the last 20 years, the Whistler Housing Authority has partnered with all three levels of government, as well as the private sector, to create and maintain an inventory of 6,600 beds of affordable housing within Whistler.”

Melissa Pace, CEO, Whistler Chamber of Commerce - 

“Advocating for affordable housing solutions remains a top priority for the Whistler Chamber of Commerce. On behalf of our Members and the broader Whistler business community, we would like to thank the Government of British Columbia, the BC Housing Association and the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation for recognizing the challenges we face in Whistler, and supporting the community's ongoing effort to secure affordable housing for Whistler’s workforce. This funding will assist in the retention of permanent employees, who are vital to the mid and long-term recovery of our resort’s economy.”

Sean East, Co-Executive Director, Zero Ceiling - 

“We’re excited to begin this new partnership with the Whistler Housing Authority, which offers vulnerable young people an incredible opportunity to find stability, opportunities, and community in Whistler. It’s great to see the community offer a broader range of housing on the housing continuum by empowering us to provide more supportive housing in Whistler. Beyond the immeasurable benefits for young people, this partnership is also an investment in a more diverse and sustainable Whistler community, which we’re thrilled to be a part of. We’re looking forward to collaborating further to meet the diverse housing needs of our community members.”

Quick facts:

  • Granite Ridge has been designed and constructed to BC Step Code 3, with the intention that the project will be 50 per cent more efficient than the minimum standard required by the BC Building Code
  • The Province, through BC’s HousingHub, has supplied $10.2 million in interim repayable mortgage financing, which will be taken out by CMHC through the $10.4 million NHCF loan.
  • With a budget of $13.2 billion, the NHCF gives priority to projects that help people who need it most, including women and children fleeing family violence, seniors, Indigenous people, people with disabilities, those with mental health or addiction issues, veterans and young adults
  • Through the NHCF, the Government of Canada will work with partners to build up to 60,000 new affordable homes and repair up to 240,000 existing affordable and community homes
  • Under the NHCF, investments are also planned to create or repair at least 4,000 shelter spaces for victims of family violence, as well as create at least 7,000 new affordable housing units for seniors and 2,400 new affordable housing units for people with developmental disabilities
  • Canada's National Housing Strategy (NHS) is a 10-year, $70+ billion plan that will give more Canadians a place to call home—this includes more than $13 billion committed through the 2020 Fall Economic Statement
  • Since 2017, the B.C. government has taken steps to tackle the housing crisis and deliver affordable homes, including the largest investment in housing affordability in B.C.'s history – $7 billion over 10 years
  • Through a 30-point housing plan launched in 2018, the provincial government is working with partners to deliver 114,000 affordable homes over 10 years. The plan has also introduced new measures aimed at curbing speculative demand that has driven up the cost of living
  • The Province’s HousingHub was created in 2018 and works with community, government, non-profit and private-sector partners to help create new affordable rental housing and homeownership options for middle-income British Columbians
  • Unlike other housing projects for people with low to moderate incomes, the Province does not directly fund HousingHub projects. Instead, the Province provides interim construction financing – a loan which is then repaid by the developer. In other words, the Province uses its borrowing power to provider lower cost financing than what developers could obtain on their own, which in turn lowers the cost of the project and makes the rents lower than they would otherwise be.

Associated links:

Contacts:

Mikaela Harrison
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development
mikaela.harrison@hrsdc-rhdcc.gc.ca

Leonard Catling Media Relations
Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation
lcatling@cmhc-schl.gc.ca

Ministry of Attorney General and Responsible for Housing
Media Relations
778 678-1572

BC Housing
Media Relations
media@bchousing.org