The Fernie Chamber of Commerce is excited to announce it has received funding from the Rural Dividend Fund for an Employment Housing Connector Project. This project aims to connect landlords to employers and create stable accommodation.
In the 2016 Business Retention and Expansion (BRE) Survey completed by the Fernie Chamber, the most frequently cited critical issues for employees was the cost of living (92%) and housing (77%). This project is designed to build resources and capacity to address the housing challenges reported in the BRE.
Staffing surveys have also pointed to housing as a challenge to bringing on employees. In July 2017, a staffing survey found 60% of businesses had unfilled positions. Lack of housing was raised as a contributing factor to the shortage of workers.
This project is aimed at providing simple and effective tools for both employers and property owners. Many local business owners have noted they have unfilled jobs because candidates cannot find homes. “We have seen this challenge limit the hours of operations and affect the customer service levels provided. Creating more housing options in the community by matching property owners to long-term stable clients will give employers another way to secure the staff they need” notes Graeme Nunn, Fernie Chamber board president.
The Chamber will be working on the project over the fall and aims to be operating in spring for summer seasons. It will include templated contracts, website, and property management (contracted). For more information, please contact the Fernie Chamber of Commerce at 250.423.6868.