Affordable Housing

Affordable Housing is defined as home ownership 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 | The City's Role | Affordable Housing Strategy | Affordable Housing Projects on Small Sites 

The Affordable Housing Continuum

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.


The City of New Westminster requested proposals for innovative affordable ownership or rental housing projects for two city-owned sites. The City is aiming to maximize the use of civic land assets while developing a model for addressing the very pressing issue of housing affordability in Metro Vancouver. This program is an initiative of the Mayor’s Housing Affordability Task Force.

As part of the request, the City of New Westminster is making two municipally-owned sites available (630 Ewen Avenue and 43 Hastings Street) to the successful proponents at no charge. The City will also cover related expenses such as development approval costs and building permit fees, legal fees, and site servicing. The City is working closely with BC Housing and the Metro Vancouver Housing Corporation both of which will provide advice to the City on this initiative.