Vancouver mayor aims to increase tax on vacant homes to fund affordable housing – BC News

Is the tax on the empty house growing?

The Canadian Press – April 13, 2022 / 17:30 | History: 365988

Photo: pixabay

The mayor of Vancouver has announced a plan to increase the tax rate on vacant homes to five percent and double compliance audits in a bid to make housing more affordable.

Kennedy Stewart says his decision to triple the vacancy rate in 2020 has brought in about $ 32 million for affordable housing and helped “return” more than 4,000 homes to locals.

Preliminary data released this week by the city show a drop in vacant properties and a doubling of declared property revenues after the tax rate was raised to three percent of the city.

But Stewart says there are still hundreds of vacant homes and thousands more who want exceptions, so more remains to be done.

The mayor’s latest proposal will be discussed at council meetings later this month.

Stewart says he expects unanimous support from the council, as it is an “important step” in tackling the city’s housing affordability crisis.