North Vancouver, New Westminister among 20 new cities included in B.C. housing targets

The B.C. Ministry of Housing announced Tuesday that 20 more ‘priority communities’ have been selected to receive housing targets for the next five years.

In 2023, the provincial government introduced the Housing Supply Act which established targets for building new homes in priority municipalities. Communities were selected based on “greatest need” and “projected growth.”

Tuesday’s announcement is the latest addition after an initial 10 municipalities were identified last year.

“We are addressing the housing crisis with our municipal partners so thousands more affordable homes can be built for people who need them,” said Ravi Kahlon, minister of housing. “Our goal for the next twenty communities is to build on the work they are already doing, while they continue to implement the recent provincial legislative changes. This group includes communities that are doing well on housing and some that need to do more.”

The communities identified to receive housing targets are:

  • Central Saanich;
  • Chilliwack;
  • Colwood;
  • Esquimalt;
  • Kelowna;
  • City of Langley;
  • Maple Ridge;
  • Mission;
  • Nanaimo;
  • New Westminster;
  • North Cowichan;
  • North Saanich;
  • City of North Vancouver;
  • Port Coquitlam;
  • Prince George;
  • Sidney;
  • Surrey;
  • View Royal;
  • West Kelowna;
  • and White Rock

In a press release, North Vancouver Mayor Linda Buchanan said she was surprised to see her city on the list.

“In my previous conversations with the Minister I have been very clear that the City’s growth cannot be scaled up as a result of ordering a housing target,” said Buchanan.

She claimed North Vancouver has been a leader in delivering housing for over a decade, continually meeting regional growth strategies.

Though she appreciates being selected as a priority, Buchanan says she expects the province to provide additional support to meet new targets.

“Our community needs the province to be at the table on a host of large infrastructure projects that we cannot deliver alone as local government,” said Buchanan. “Their role in growth must include leadership on funding for a new Ironworkers Memorial Bridge, a rapid transit connection to the North Shore, funding and regulatory support to accelerate the digitization of utilities making engineering approvals faster, and increased funding and lands for non-market housing to name a few.”

Similarly, New Westminster Mayor Patrick Johnstone says he “rejects” the new targets.

Johnstone stated in a release that New West has done “extensive work” to meet existing unit targets and the province should “instead be doing more to help fund new housing.”

The ministry said specific targets for the identified communities will be announced later this summer.