New Provincial Housing Legislation

In an effort to address the housing crisis in BC, the Province has made a number of significant changes to the legislation under which local governments operate.

The City has also been working towards more and better housing (see Council’s Strategic Priorities Plan). Though, we know we will need to change our own municipal regulations and approval processes to align with the new provincial legislation. As the information is still preliminary and new, we don’t yet know what these changes will look like. We will share more as we learn it, and as we proceed toward implementation.

Until then, we will be operating with a ‘business as usual’ approach. Anyone wanting to redevelop their property before these changes are adopted will still need to comply with the current regulations and processes.

Click on the links below for information from the Province. More is expected to be released through the spring. This page will be regularly updated as the work unfolds.

We look forward to working with the Province, applicants, and the public to support the creation of more housing in and for our community. 

  • How soon does the new provincial housing legislation take effect?

    The City is working towards implementing the new legislation now. Some elements are already in place, such as removing Public Hearings for residential rezonings. Some elements will be adopted by the City this year, such as transit oriented area designations. Other elements, such as updates to our Official Community Plan, will happen in 2025. We’re currently creating work plans and will be updating this page to share the progress of these projects.

    When and how will small-scale multi-unit housing projects be built?

    The City is still exploring how this aspect of the new legislation will affect our community. Until that is confirmed, applications outside of our existing infill programs are not being reviewed. For this size of project, it is important to consider the necessary site servicing such as: sanitary and sewer capacity, stormwater management, electrical load and wire undergrounding, as well as resurfacing of curbs, roads, and sidewalks.

    When and how can buildings be built in the Province’s transit- oriented areas?

    There are five transit oriented areas (TOAs) in New Westminster adjacent to Skytrain stations. At Columbia Street and New West Station, the TOA legislation is in effect. The remaining three areas (Braid, Sapperton, and 22nd Street) will be implemented later by City bylaws. Development applications are currently guided by an Interim Development Review Framework, endorsed by Council in January.

    In the case of redevelopment to the Provincially allowable maximums around the stations, the building’s units would all be rental, and the City’s tenant protection measures for existing rental units still apply.

    Has heritage protection been impacted?

    No, heritage protection is not removed by this new legislation. The City will continue to encourage growth that balances the preservation of historic buildings or character features. For example, a heritage house may need to be retained but could be converted to a duplex, or have a laneway house built at the rear.

  • Planning Division
    City of New Westminster
    Phone: 604-527-4532

    Planning and Land Use Management Branch
    Province of BC
    Phone: 250-387-3394 or 1-800-663-7867