Chilliwack uses an array of planning tools to support housing in the City. Underpinning these tools is the City's Official Community Plan, which includes specific housing policies and guidance on affordable and appropriate housing, such as the development of complete communities and improving walkability for residents. Housing policies also include accommodating new residential development through infill and redevelopment in existing areas, supporting adequate and affordable housing for seniors, encouraging rental housing by promoting alternative forms of housing (i.e., accessory dwelling units).
The City has completed a Housing Needs Report to identify current and future housing needs in our community. The report focuses on affordability and demand for all housing types and will support future City, B.C. government, local non-profit and development community decision-making around housing.
Chilliwack, like many Canadian communities, is experiencing an aging population. The population of adults 65 and over is growing faster than other age groups and there is a need to ensure that affordable and appropriate service and housing options are available across the housing and care continuum. To this end, the City undertook the Housing Needs of Aging Adults study to better understand housing needs and to provide direction to actors across sectors, including the City, non‑profit housing providers, private developers, and health agencies.
The City’s growth management strategy (Official Community Plan) is focussed primarily on the redevelopment and densification of existing urban areas in accordance with best practices for infill development, established development targets, land use plans, and design guidelines. Policy Directive G-32 (Infill Development Policies) has been developed to support these objectives.
The City has a policy (the Secondary Suites Policy) to permit the rental of secondary suites within any single detached dwelling in the City, regardless of the zone of the lot. In conjunction with the Secondary Suites Policy, the City has established a development permit process (Development Permit Area 10) for regulating the form and character of coach houses and garden suites.