Vancouver to hike empty homes tax by 25% for each of next three years

City says tax has raked in $39.7 million in net revenue since it was launched in 2016

Aerial view of houses in Oshawa, Ont., seen from a Canadian forces Hercules on Saturday, Nov. 11, 2017. The federal election results mean potential new barriers for foreign real estate investors as well as some help for first time buyer, but not the more significant changes that opposition parties had promised. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Lars Hagberg

The City of Vancouver will be raising its empty homes tax by 25 per cent for each of the next three years in an effort to tackle a crisis in the lack of long-term rental housing.

Mayor Kennedy Stewart says he has directed staff to use additional revenue from the tax hike starting in 2020 to strengthen efforts to provide affordable housing for households with an annual income of less than $50,000.

The city says the empty homes tax has generated $39.7 million in net revenue since it was launched in 2016 to fund affordable housing initiatives for tenants who face a vacancy rate that is less than one per cent.

In February, the city said statistics from 2018 showed the number of vacant properties had fallen by 15 per cent in one year and just over half of those previously empty homes had been returned to the rental market.

READ MORE: 12,000 property owners paying B.C. speculation tax so far

The city says other efforts aimed at helping renters include the opening of a community-based Renter Centre in 2021 so key organizations providing supports, education and legal advocacy can be located in one place.

Vancouver’s empty homes tax is the first of its kind in North America.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

A sold sign is shown in front of west-end Toronto homes on May 14, 2017.The Canadian Real Estate Association says home sales in July rose 12.6 per cent compared with the same month last year.The increase came as sales were up in most of the country’s largest markets, including the B.C.’s Lower Mainland, Calgary, Edmonton, the Greater Toronto Area and Hamilton-Burlington, Ottawa and Montreal.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graeme Roy

It’s a mixed bag for newly-released real estate numbers by OMREB (file)

A real estate sold sign hangs in front of a west-end Toronto property. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graeme Roy

Just Posted

Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Sept. 27 to Oct. 3

World Farm Animals Day, Drink Beer Day and Virus Appreciation Day are all coming up this week

UPDATED: Surrey RCMP make multiple arrests after reports of fight in Newton

Huge police response to reports of fight, possibly a gun, in the area of 82nd Avenue east of Scott Road

Panorama Ridge Secondary reports third COVID-19 exposure

Fraser Health has created a new webpage listing COVID-19 cases in schools

Father hopes journey to aviation-safety program inspires hope

Former South Surrey resident Greg Sewell hasn’t given up on quest to mandate older-plane retrofits

Surrey youth protest throne speech as part of Global Day of Action

Group marched to Liberal MP Randeep Sarai’s constituency office

B.C. records 98 more COVID-19 cases, most in Lower Mainland

One new senior home outbreak, Surrey Memorial outbreak over

VIDEO: COVID won’t dampen Lower Mainland woman’s Halloween spirit

Langley’s Tanya Reid posted video offering suggestions of how trick-or-treating might look for her

PHOTOS: 2nd calf in a month confirmed among Southern Resident killer whale pod

Center for Whale Research said they will eagerly await to observe the calf to evaluate its health

97 distressed horses, cats and dogs seized from farm in Princeton

RCMP assisted as BC SPCA executed search warrant

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

$250K reward offered as investigation continues into Sea to Sky Gondola vandalism

Police also asking for specific footage of Sea to Sky highway around time of incident

Trudeau ‘disappointed’ by RCMP treatment of Sikh officers over mask issue

World Sikh Organization of Canada said taking Sikh officers off the front lines constitutes discrimination

Liberals reach deal with NDP on COVID-19 aid bill, likely averting election

NDP and the Liberals have reached an agreement on COVID-19 sick-leave

Most Read