Commission Meeting News

PUD commissioners consider expanding support of affordable housing

by Rachel Hansen | Apr 05, 2021

Chelan PUD commissioners are considering a proposal that would support affordable housing development by waiving connection fees for qualified homebuyers working with local housing trusts. (starts at 00:20:00 on the board audio)                       

The electrical connection fee waiver is currently $1,900. Chelan PUD has offered waivers to nonprofit, affordable housing trusts since 1995. About one home per year has qualified. Working through the housing trusts, about 20-25 homes per year are expected to qualify under the expanded program.

Three community land trusts – Chelan Valley Affordable Housing Trust, Common Ground Housing Trust in Wenatchee, and Share Community Land Trust in Leavenworth – presented a summary of local affordable housing programs to PUD commissioners in February. A community land trust is a community-led development of individually owned buildings on community-owned land.

In North Central Washington, community housing trusts have developed 42 affordable homes. That number is expected to grow by about 10-20 homes per year over the next five years: Three homes in Leavenworth by 2022, five homes a year in Wenatchee starting in 2022 and five-10 homes a year in Chelan.

Commissioners asked staff to further develop eligibility criteria to keep administrative costs low and total costs for the program predictable.

In other news, commissioners:

  • Heard an update about advanced two-way digital metering. Staff are wrapping up contract negotiations with the vendor, which also supplies Grant PUD’s advanced meters. (01:32:00)
  • Heard about resource adequacy planning in the Pacific Northwest. (00:55:00)
  • Heard about lower-than-average streamflow in the mid-Columbia in March. (02:32:00)

* * *

Upcoming events:

  • April 6-20: Coyote Dunes improvement work
  • April 10: Migrant Health Fair, Cascade High School
  • April 17: Wenatchee Earth Day Fair, Pybus Market
  • April 17: Chelan Earth Day Virtual Fair,
  • April 19: PUD Commission Meeting

The next PUD commission meeting is at 10 a.m. on Monday, April 19. The public is welcome to attend remotely in accordance with the latest guidance from the state Department of Health.