Press Releases
Mayor Johnstone questions province’s housing priorities
Posted On:
April 23, 2024

New Westminster already leading the way in providing new housing

New Westminster, B.C. – New Westminster is a regional leader in building new housing, says Mayor Patrick Johnstone, which is why he is disappointed that the Province of B.C. is indicating that the City should be doing more.

“Prioritizing New Westminster for new housing targets makes no sense when this city has spent more than a decade leading the region in meeting housing needs,” says Mayor Johnstone. “New Westminster has consistently been one of the fastest growing cities in the region, and is now the second densest city in all of Canada. We lead the region in approving new Secured Market Rental and are doing more than any other city to address the critical rental vacancy crisis in this region. We are one of the few cities that is meeting and exceeding its regional growth strategy targets. We are doing our job getting housing built.”

Mayor Johnstone was responding to today’s announcement that New Westminster will be one of 20 additional communities that will be required to meet new Province of B.C.-designated targets for new housing over the next five years. New Westminster was included on the list, even though the Province’s own announcement indicates the City has been a leader in addressing housing needs.

Johnstone noted that the City’s Housing Needs Assessment shows it is well ahead of targets in all of the sectors it is responsible for - approving new market ownership, transit-oriented density and new rental homes. Instead of creating new targets and adding work for overburdened staff, the Province should do its job and fund affordable housing projects the City has already approved.

“The only place we are falling short of our community need is subsidized and supportive housing. And it’s not because we are not approving it, we are approving it. It’s because the province refuses to fund affordable housing at a scale that meets the crisis” says Johnstone, pointing to a supportive housing project on Sixth Street in New Westminster that hasn’t proceeded, despite City approvals dating back to 2021. “We approve affordable housing. We pre-zoned land for it, we provide capital funds to support it, we have begged the province for it. What more can we do?”

Johnstone also says he hears loud and clear his community calling on the Province to support the critical community needs created by new housing and population-growth, especially schools, child care and public transit.

- 30 -

Media Contact:

Denise A Tambellini
Manager Intergovernmental Relations
City of New Westminster
604-340-9373 |