According to Whistler’s Vital Signs 2016:

The average monthly market rental rate for a 2-bedroom unit in 2015 was $2,243. The Whistler Housing Authority estimates that approximately 10% of Whistler individuals earn enough income to afford to rent a 2-bedroom unit. The minimum income required to support this (at 32% of income dedicated to housing costs) is $86,925. The WHA uses Statistics Canada’s National Household Survey after-tax incomes and the average monthly market rental rates advertised in Whistler by unit type, to determine the percentage of Whistler’s working individuals, aged 15 and over, that meet the required income for renting an unrestricted rental unit in Whistler.

The proposed rental rate for a 2-bedroom unit at  2077 Garibaldi Way is $2,475, which would require a minimum income of $92,813 for the apartments to be considered affordable. For a 1-bedroom, an individual would need to earn at least $74,025.

The median income for Whistler in 2015 was $31,330 (RMOW Community Monitoring.)


Rental Rates2077 Garibaldi WayWhistler Housing Authority2077 Garibaldi Way vs WHAMarket Rates2077 Garibaldi Way vs Market
1-Bedroom$1974$940-$109081-110% higher$169616% higher
2-Bedroom$2475$1380-$149565-79% higher$2468<1% higher


As G.D. Maxwell pointed out in the Pique, “it gets worse”:

Annual increases in rental rates will be tied to the maximum allowable each year under the guidelines of the BC Residential Tenancy Office. Over the past number of years that rate increase has been four per cent per year. Assuming no change, in five years rents on one-bedroom units will rise to $2,400/month, $2,829/month for one-bedroom plus den, and $3,011/month for a two-bedroom.

Again, by comparison, WHA pegs its rent increases to the rate of inflation… or less. Its rents have been going up around 1.5 per cent and will likely go up by two per cent this year.

At the proposed rents in year one, employees would need to be making between $74,653 and $93,600 per year for one-bedroom and two-bedroom apartments, respectively, to stay within 33 per cent of their gross. After five years, those incomes would need to increase to between $87,334 and $109,135 to stay within guidelines. That is a 17 per cent increase in income over five years. Let’s see a show of hands; everyone who has enjoyed that size increase in income over the last five years?



Reasons for Opposition

The proposed apartments will be affordable for less than 10% of Whistler’s population