February 6, 2024 – A Connecting Housing to Infrastructure Program (CHIP) grant of $190,000 has been awarded to provide affordable housing utility infrastructure to the Kidder Way Project on Orcas Island. SJC will be able to support the development of ten new homeownership opportunities through this Connecting Housing to Infrastructure Program (CHIP) grant.
Utility development costs have been identified in the county and Washington State as a barrier to the development of affordable housing. This most recent award is the third successful CHIP grant application the county has been awarded. A CHIP grant has been awarded for a project on all three major ferry-served islands.
The Kidder Way Project is managed by OPAL Community Land Trust. This project will produce ten new affordable housing units on Orcas Island in a prime location in Eastsound. SJC is proud to support the work of OPAL through this CHIP grant, as well a previous grant award to the project from the County’s own Home Fund.
The Home Fund is a SJC Health & Community Services administered program to develop, produce, and preserve affordable housing in San Juan County. This program expands opportunities for local affordable housing projects to bring additional State, Federal and private funding, such as CHIP grants, from outside our county into our community to build more affordable housing.
The CHIP program helps affordable housing projects connect to water, sewer and stormwater infrastructure by paying for waived connection fees, the infrastructure to connect to regional water, sewer, or stormwater systems, or for on-site stormwater facilities.
Applicants must be a city, county, or public utility district in partnership with an affordable housing project.
The city or county must have imposed a sales and use tax for affordable housing.
The new housing development must include at least 25% affordable units, which must have a strong probability of serving the target group for at least 25 years.
The affordable housing development must begin construction within 24 months of the grant award.
Federal funds must be under contract by December 2024 and expended by December 2026. Projects funded with state resources must be completed by June 2025 pending legislative re-appropriations.
Where applicable, the extension for new drinking water, wastewater or stormwater connections must be consistent with the approved comprehensive plans under the Growth Management Act and must be within the established boundaries of the Urban Growth Area.