Fees and charges waived in Chilliwack for supportive housing

A lack of affordable housing led city council to change policy to help get supportive housing built

Two major supportive housing projects being built in Chilliwack had fees and DCCs waived by Chilliwack city council totalling $1.6 million.

Housing does not fall under municipal jurisdiction, it’s a provincial responsibility.

But given the dire situation with affordable housing, City of Chilliwack adopted a Supportive Housing Assistance Policy under its Community Development Funding policy, as well as a Development Cost Charge waiver option for eligible developments.

Two Chilliwack projects seeing waivers,which will offer affordable housing units and in one case, market rental units, are the The Waterstone project of Mamele’awt Qweesome and To’o Housing Society on Yale Road, and the Family Centre being built by Ruth & Naomi’s Mission.

“It may seem like a small thing, just waiving fees, and DCCs, but it’s important to note why we waived these costs,” said Mayor Sharon Gaetz, when council voted on the matter.

It’s about supporting new affordable housing to help the most vulnerable with progressive development policies.

“It’s money well spent,” said Gaetz.

Coun. Jason Lum said he was glad Mayor Gaetz brought it up. The waived fees and DCCs are “not insignificant” when it’s all added up, and said it would be easy for this effort to go unnoticed.

“It’s important the public realizes how far we go,” he said about the city commitment to do this, having also noted that the application for supportive housing went through the bureaucracy very quickly.

Mamele’awt Qweesome and To’o Housing:

Fee waiver $125,669.75

DCC waiver $917,530.79

Total: $1,043,200.54

Ruth and Naomi’s

Fee waiver $54,310.09

DCC waiver $571,658.46

Total $625,968.55

Both Projects Combined

Fee Waivers $179,979.84

DCC Waivers $1,489,189.25

Total Waivers $1,669,169.09