Secondary suites provide affordable, ground-oriented rental housing and contribute to the amount and diversity of housing available in the city, while preserving the character of residential neighbourhoods.
Secondary suites must meet the regulations of the Zoning Bylaw and BC Building Code, but are permitted in most single detached houses in New Westminster. Secondary suites cannot be strata-titled, sold, or used for short term rentals, but can be used for family or as long term rental units. Contact the Planning Division to confirm whether a secondary suite is permitted at a property.
In August 2021, the City adopted updated requirements to simplify regulations, improve application review times, and streamline the process for applicants.
The revised secondary suites program:
- replaces existing secondary suite requirements with a simplified set of life safety and livability requirements;
- removes items already regulated through the British Columbia Building Code (BCBC);
- no longer has separate regulations for suites in older or newer homes; and
- removes Zoning Bylaw Design Standards and instead offers Best Practices for Secondary Suite Design.
You can learn more about the updates by reading the January 18, 2021 Staff Report to Council and Zoning Amendment Bylaw.
The guide below provides more information about secondary suites: