Adaptable Housing

Built for those with limited mobility due to age, disability or illness, Adaptable Housing enables individuals to function in their homes with relative independence.

Adaptable Housing features non-obtrusive elements that add considerable utility to persons with mobility challenges. It’s also designed to accommodate the easy and affordable addition of accessibility features after construction.

In December 2009, the Province introduced changes to the BC Building Code, establishing consistent standards for municipal and developer-driven Adaptable Housing initiatives. These standards include regulations for accessible entrances, kitchen layouts and bathroom reinforcements as well as easy-to-use handles and fixtures.

Adaptable Housing Requirements

On June 28, 2011, Council adopted an amendment to the Zoning Bylaw for the provision of Adaptable Housing. In summary:

  • The policy applies to all new developments with single-storey dwelling units in multiple unit residential occupancy buildings.
  • A minimum of 40% of all single-storey dwelling units in multiple unit residential occupancy buildings must be constructed as Adaptable Dwelling Units in accordance with the British Columbia Building Code.
  • Exempt from the total floorspace calculation:
    • 1.85 square metres (19.90 square feet) for every one-bedroom adaptable housing unit.
    • 2.80 square metres (30.14 square feet) for every two-plus bedroom adaptable housing unit.
  • The location of the adaptable dwelling units within each building is the decision of the developer.
  • One year grace period for in-stream development applications.

The inclusion of adaptable housing in the City’s housing stock is a proactive means of planning for New Westminster’s aging population, enabling Seniors to remain in their community while allowing individuals with mobility challenges to live comfortably in their homes.