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Letter: Here's a suggestion for a housing program on the Sunshine Coast

Working towards a home run...
child and parent with a house in their hands

Editor:

Some months ago, I was in a brief discussion with the mayor of Sechelt about a program that was introduced in Whistler many years ago to assist in resolving the ongoing housing crisis and lack of employee housing.  It’s called The Home Run Program.

The Residential Tenancy Act has made it increasingly difficult to deal with tenant issues and due to the litigious nature of the Act, forces many homeowners to seek other avenues to cover their costs catering more towards visitors to the Coast.  I, like many people, question the sustainability of life here on the Coast when the simple fact is, we can’t house the people needed to help service local Coasters, let alone the increasing number of visitors. We are bursting at the seams…  

As a result of the concerns of landlords, Whistler introduced the Home Run program that is managed through the Whistler Housing Authority. The purpose of this is to match employers with local homeowners. The employer becomes the tenant and offers employee housing (charging rent directly to the employee). End result – this helps create employee loyalty and offers landlords the comfort of knowing that a local reputable business is renting the home from them and is prepared to take on the assumed risk of being the tenant.

I would be interested to know what local homeowners and employers think about introducing such a program here on the Coast?  Would this idea offer homeowners some peace of mind?  Would local employers be interested to participate in such a program?

I’ve set up a separate email account to receive feedback and suggestions on this idea. Email: SSChomerun@gmail.com.

Lisa Johnson, Sechelt