Affordable Housing is defined as homeownership and rental housing for low to moderate income households costing less than 30% of their gross income. Access to affordable housing is fundamental to physical, economic and social well being. This web page covers:
The Affordable Housing Continuum represents the spectrum of housing types available to low and moderate-income households. Six population groups have been identified as priority groups particularly affected by housing issues in the City. Click here to learn more about the target groups for affordable housing.
Ensuring residents have access to a variety of housing choices that are affordable requires the participation of many groups: all levels of government, service agencies, and the non-profit and private sectors. The City plays an important role in the following ways:
- Setting Policy — Clear, consistently applied policies express the City’s commitment to affordable/attainable housing.
- Establishing Regulations — Effective use of regulatory authority on attainable homeownership and rental housing creates housing choice for residents.
- Using Resources — Strategic use of City resources can leverage an increased supply of affordable/ attainable housing.
- Entering into Partnerships — Collaboration with the business and non-profit communities and Provincial agencies will lead to creative solutions to existing and emerging housing issues.
- Advocating — A commitment to ongoing leadership on housing.
- Promoting Quality Design and Innovation — Focus on sustainable, energy conserving, and attractive design and development of new and conventional housing forms that will reduce maintenance costs and increase neighbourhood acceptability.
In 2010, the City of New Westminster completed an Affordable Housing Strategy as an update to the Housing Strategy that had been implemented 13 years earlier.
This Strategy will enable the City to develop policies and tools that will promote housing affordability to meet the full range of incomes and needs in the City. The Strategy focuses primarily on permanent housing, placing a greater emphasis on the City of New Westminster’s role as a facilitator in the development of affordable housing through the private market.
In order to help address the housing crisis in the region, the City is actively pursuing creative approaches to providing affordable housing in New Westminster. Through the Small Sites Affordable Housing Program, the City has offered City-owned sites to affordable housing providers for the development of secure below and non-market housing.
The City has selected two City-owned two sites (one in Connaught Heights and one in Queensborough) to be developed through this program. Housing providers were recently invited (through an RFP process) to submit innovative and creative proposals for potential affordable housing developments on these sites. More information on the two projects can be found on the ‘Small Sites Affordable Housing’ website.
These small site projects follow on the success of the first two projects completed under the Small Sites Affordable Housing Program at 630 Ewen Avenue and 43 Hastings St.
In a separate initiative, the City is also working with BC Housing to build affordable housing at 838 Ewen Avenue. Click here to learn more.