BOW VALLEY – The latest staff housing guide for the Bow Valley shows that Canmore has significantly less staff accommodation available than neighbouring communities.
The recently released guide for Banff, Canmore, Lake Louise and Kananaskis, highlights more than 5,500 staff beds in the Bow Valley and lists businesses that offer the accommodation along with employment.
Of the beds available in the valley, Banff provides the most with 2,930 beds, Lake Louise provides 1,661 beds, Kananaskis provides 540 beds and Canmore provides 453.
When asked about the bed number difference, Canmore Mayor John Borrowman said he questions the numbers provided in the guide.
"When I look at the housing guide, it doesn't appear to recognize all of the employee housing available in Canmore," Borrowman said, noting there is more than 1,000 businesses in Canmore and only 36 were included in the guide.
"It seems to me the housing guide is focused on people coming into the accommodation sector, but there are so many businesses that are not in those sectors that have not been pulled into this guide – it's an interesting guide with interesting information."
While promoted as a "comprehensive inventory of entry-level staff housing offered in the Bow Valley," Job Resource Centre director Michel Dufresne said the guide is more of a resource for job seekers.
"We went out there and called the large employers and this is what they gave us," Dufresne said.
"We are not a social agency. We do this to help people find jobs with housing to the best of our ability and this is what came out."
In addition to businesses that provide accommodations, the guide also includes a page with information on tenant's rights and responsibilities.
Noting that the cost of living is generally higher than other Alberta communities, the guide outlines the average rental rates at $856 to $859 for shared accommodations, $946 to $1,104 for a studio/bachelor, $1,422 to $1,528 for a one bedroom, $1,767 to $1,995 for a two bedroom, and $2,250 to $2,500 for a three bedroom.
Meanwhile the average cost of rent for staff housing is approximately $437.50 a month, at $475 in Banff, $530 in Canmore, $395 in Lake Louise and $350 in Kananaskis.
While staff accommodation is typically shared, there is a housing preference index with options for private bedrooms, couple-friendly rooms (if both partners work for the same employer), the ability to choose your roommate, places with lots of storage, accommodations that allow overnight guest, pet-friendly, child-friendly and businesses where employees under 18 years old may be accommodated.
"It's popular now, so it's easy to get them re-released," Dufresne said, noting the first edition was released in the 90s.
The goal is to re-release the guide every three years.
"The response has been really good. People have seen it and employers do like to be a part of it," Dufresne said.
"We realize people are calling and asking about the jobs with staff housing. People are a little more prepared when they apply for jobs because they know about staff housing already – it is really helpful."
A copy of the guide can be picked up at the Job Resource Centre in Canmore at 109 - 710 10th St. or in Banff at 314 Marten St.
For more information visit jobresourcecentre.com