Draft Inclusionary Housing Policy

The City of New Westminster has developed a draft Inclusionary Housing Policy and is developing a draft Rental Replacement Policy to help address the need for affordable and rental housing in the city. The draft Inclusionary Housing Policy was presented to Council for information at a December 10, 2018, Council meeting, at which time Council endorsed the draft as the basis for initiating consultation with the public and stakeholders.

Draft Inclusionary Housing Policy

The draft Inclusionary Housing Policy, which would apply to new strata developments only, would require residential developments of a certain size to include a set minimum contribution of affordable housing as a condition of rezoning approval. The draft policy would be the basis for negotiation of Rezoning applications and Heritage Revitalization Agreements by identifying incentives to private developers to gain inclusion of affordable units.

The Draft Rental Replacement Policy is anticipated to be before Council in January 2019.

Process

Step 1: Guiding Principles and Gap Analysis (Fall/Winter 2017)

Guiding principles were developed for the Inclusionary Housing Policy and Rental Replacement Policy. These guiding principles were used to frame policy development in order to achieve desired outcomes and to avoid unintended consequences. Staff also undertook a gap analysis using the 2016 Census and other data to determine the existing and emerging need for affordable rental housing in New Westminster and compiled an inventory of the existing purpose-built market rental housing stock.

Step 2: Case Study Research (Winter 2017/Spring 2018)

Staff undertook a comparative analysis of Inclusionary Housing Policies and Rental Replacement Policies in Metro Vancouver municipalities, with the intent that the learnings from this review would inform the development of the City’s Inclusionary Housing and Rental Replacement policies. This included other municipalities’ approaches to both securing the units and ownership and management of the units.

Step 3: Internal Stakeholder Consultation (Winter 2017/Spring 2018)

Staff consulted with the Development Services team (Planning, Building, and Integrated Services) on the principles and framing questions for the Land Economics Analysis, as well as land use implications of these potential policies. Staff also liaised with staff from peer municipalities and non-profit housing organizations (through the BC Non-Profit Housing Association) in a workshop in January 2018 regarding experiences and issues with long-term management of these units, as well as the expectations of non-profit housing providers vis-a-vis managing non-market units gained through inclusionary policies.

Step 4: Land Economics Analysis (consultant) (Spring/Summer 2018)

An Urban Land Economics firm (Coriolis Land Economists) was contracted to undertake an economic analysis of: (1) one-to-one replacement of existing purpose-built rental units in development situations; and, (2) securing non-market units in rental replacement and new rental and strata residential projects.

Step 5: Policy Development (Summer/Fall 2018)

The draft Inclusionary Housing Policy was developed, grounded in the guiding principles and informed by the gap analysis, case study research, stakeholder engagement to date, and the land economics findings. 

How to Get Involved

A consultation program is anticipated for the draft policies in February and March 2019, including: an online survey for residents to provide feedback on the draft policies; a public open house; two stakeholder workshops, one with Landlord BC, landowners with significant rental holdings, housing advocates such as the New Westminster Tenants Union and Acorn Canada, and non-profit housing providers and, one with the Urban Development Institute Local Liaison Committee. The draft policies will also be presented to the Advisory Planning Commission and the Community Social Issues Committee and for review and feedback. 

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