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Construction kicks off on affordable housing project in Chilliwack from Wilma’s Transition Society

18-unit complex going up on Vedder Road will offer new low-income housing for women and children
A rendering of affordable rental housing project by Wilma’s Transition Society getting underway on Vedder Road. (Wilma’s/City of Chilliwack)

Wilma’s Transition Society is building an 18-unit affordable housing complex on Vedder Road for women and children to do their part in tackling the ongoing housing crisis in Chilliwack.

The new building under construction at 5732 Vedder Road will provide rental housing for women, children and female elders as a third-stage housing project.

“We are so excited to announce the official start of construction on our new project,” said Kathleen Mosa, executive director of Wilma’s Transition House Society.

Planning has been underway for almost two years.

“We cannot wait to be able to open our doors to our community and offer our support services and new long-term, low-income housing for women and children,” Mosa said.

Wilma’s is a non-profit dedicated women victims of interpersonal violence providing services, and support to women and their children. While it’s an Indigenous based organization, it is inclusive in providing services to all.

The actual rents tenants will be paying won’t be confirmed until the project is complete, but they’ll be based on 70 per cent of the average Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s (CMHC) current market rental rate guidelines.

Asked for a ballpark estimate, Mosa said the rents are expected to be approximately: $900 for a one-bedroom, $1,100 for two-bedroom and $1,300 for a three-bedroom unit.

The site and structure will be owned and operated by Wilma’s Transition Society and a 20-year housing agreement will be signed with City of Chilliwack reps to “ensure the property use remains as intended,” according to the staff report in the March 15 agenda package.

Council voted at the last council meeting to waive the associated development fees for Wilma’s new housing project in the amount of $47,143.57, as well waiving development cost charges (DCCs) in the amount of $132,660.64.

Those fees are council’s contribution to creating affordable housing.

“Waiving the DCCs and other fees is part of the role we can play in establishing affordable housing in Chilliwack,” Mayor Ken Popove said.

Chilliwack’s population has exploded in recent years, and was the second fastest growing city in Canada, according to the latest census.

“We have seen our community grow substantially in that past few years and while exciting, unfortunately with that has come with unprecedented times for many through housing shortages and rising costs,” Mosa said. “We are so thankful working with incredible partners like CMHC and the City of Chilliwack that we are able to do our part in aiding in their strong efforts in helping the housing crisis, and bring this project to life to hopefully fill some of the needs our community is facing.”

The new affordable rental housing for Wilma’s is in addition to their existing transition house for woman and children of all ethnicities in the Chilliwack area called Wilma’s Transition House (previously Xolhemet Transition House) and a second-stage housing program for woman that houses five families of up to two years.

Last September saw the opening of Wilma’s counselling and outreach services on Vedder Road.

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Jennifer Feinberg

About the Author: Jennifer Feinberg

I have been a Chilliwack Progress reporter for 20+ years, covering the arts, city hall, as well as Indigenous, and climate change stories.
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