Connecting Housing to Infrastructure Program (CHIP)

The Connecting Housing to Infrastructure Program (CHIP) was created in 2021 to fund utility improvements for affordable housing. This program was funded again in the 2023 legislative session with $55.5 million budgeted for grants through the next fiscal biennium from July 1, 2023 through June 30, 2025.

Photo of construction site with an apartment complex structure.
Everett Four Corners: Photo courtesy of DevCo.

Program Overview

The Connection Housing to Infrastructure Program (CHIP) was created in 2021 to fund utility improvements for affordable housing. The goal is to help build more housing units more quickly, by covering upfront costs of infrastructure and connecting housing to municipal systems.

The program also helps local governments reduce per unit connection fees, which are used to pay for area-wide improvements to water or wastewater systems. When utilities reduce these connection fees for affordable, multifamily, or infill projects, it can help encourage development of more of these housing options, which tend to be more affordable and make more efficient use of costly infrastructure.

Specifically, CHIP can pay for:

  • Onsite water, sewer and stormwater improvements for the housing development
  • Offsite water, sewer, and stormwater improvements in the right-of-way, connecting to the development
  • Waived system development charges for the project.

Current Funding

The 2023-25 funding biennium for CHIP opens for applications on August 1, 2023. A total of $55.5 million is available. Applications can be made by selecting the 2023 Connecting Housing to Infrastructure Program (CHIP) link on ZoomGrants. The application period is open through October 31, 2023 and project requests are limited to $2 million. 

Grant workshop materials

Grant Criteria

The applicant must be a city, county or public utility district in partnership with an affordable housing project, and must meet the following requirements:

  • 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 at or under 80% area median income (AMI), with a strong probability of serving the target group for at least 25 years.
  • Affordable housing must begin construction within 24 months of the grant award.

Program Materials

Please see the following supporting documents:

To be eligible for reimbursement for waived system development charges, the applicant must have in place, or put in place, an ordinance which reduces SDCS for affordable housing units, as authorized by RCW 35.92.380 and 36.94.370.

Good examples include:

Commerce can assist your jurisdiction with preparing an ordinance. Reach out to the program administrator for more information.

Program Background

In 2022, CHIP supported the development of nearly 4800 affordable housing units, helping to create housing for the most vulnerable segments of our population. To learn more about previous funding cycles and who was funded, see the following: