City Council took steps on a proposed new Empty Homes Tax to help relieve pressure on the rental housing market. City staff will now move forward with public consultation to provide homeowners with the opportunity to comment on the proposed tax.
“The main goal of the Empty Homes Tax is to put homes back into the rental market, at a time when Vancouver’s dangerously low vacancy rate is putting renters in crisis,” says Mayor Gregor Robertson. “Ultimately, the City’s proposed empty homes tax will affect a very small number of people using Vancouver’s 10,000+ empty and underutilized homes as business holdings; with near-zero rental vacancy and skyrocketing house prices, the City needs to take action on bringing these empty homes back into the rental market, helping to ensure the best use of all our housing.”
All homeowners will receive a letter from the City of Vancouver shortly, with details on the tax and how to participate in the public consultation process. This consultation will include a series of open houses in Vancouver and an online survey in for homeowners who are unable to attend in person.
The City understands there are many different scenarios that may cause a home to remain empty for a long period of time. Through this consultation process we hope to learn more from the public about various situations to determine what exemptions may be appropriate.