Affordable Housing

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 | The City's Role | Affordable Housing Strategy | Affordable Housing Projects on Small Sites | Housing Needs Report | Inclusionary Housing Policy

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. 


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 offered City-owned sites to affordable housing providers for the development of secure below and non-market housing.

The City selected two City-owned sites to be developed through this program. However, the City has decided not to move forward with the projects at this time. More information on the two projects can be found on the project page for each site:

  1. 350 to 362 Fenton Street (located in Queensborough)
  2. 2035 London Street and 2038 Ninth Avenue (located in Connaught Heights)

Previous projects under the Small Sites Affordable Housing Program include 630 Ewen Avenue and 43 Hastings Street.


In order to fulfill new legislative requirements, the City of New Westminster, with funding from the Union of British Columbia Municipalities (UBCM), prepared a Housing Needs Report with the assistance of Eberle Planning and Research and Metro Vancouver. This report was endorsed by City Council on July 12, 2021 and will inform future housing policy and strategy development. More information, including documents and engagement information, can be found on the Be Heard New West Housing Needs Report page.


The Inclusionary Housing Policy, endorsed by Council on December 9, 2019, has been developed to guide rezoning processes for strata and mixed-use residential development city-wide.

The policy, which is now in effect, provides guidance to property owners on the City’s expectation for the delivery, ownership and management of affordable rental housing required as a condition of rezoning and includes three options for applicants to choose from:

Option 1 – Applications requesting Official Community Plan (OCP) amendment and/or exceeding Density Bonus Policy, requires a minimum of 20% of total units or floor area as built affordable rental units.

Option 2 – Applications within OCP / Density Bonus Limits, requires a minimum of 5% of total units as built non-market rental units.

Option 3 – Applications within OCP / Density Bonus Limits, requires a minimum of 10% of total units as below-market rental units.

Other provisions, including ownership and management requirements, rent amounts, unit size and mix, and incentives are outlined in the policy.