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City asking for your (many) opinions on what to do about vacant houses

May 2nd, 2016 · 2 Comments

I know this crowd will want to weigh in. Announcement from city below.

The City invites residents to participate in a public survey to seek their opinion on possible government actions to discourage empty homes in Vancouver.

Following the City’s study on empty homes in March 2016, which showed 10,800 homes in Vancouver left unoccupied for a year or more, the City conducted research with local housing, real estate and public policy experts into potential actions to decrease the number of empty homes.

The survey asks for public opinion on these actions, including taxing short term investors, prohibiting strata restrictions on rentals and increasing property taxes for unoccupied homes.

The City has limited tools to discourage empty homes, so partnership and support from the BC government are critical to the next steps. Public opinion about the need for action will be an important part of the request the City presents to senior government. Under the Vancouver Charter, the City does not have the power to mandate occupancy.

The online questionnaire launches today at<> and will be open for responses until May 16, 2016.


Responding to public concerns that empty homes could be impacting housing affordability and neighbourhood vibrancy, City of Vancouver staff presented the findings of a comprehensive study on unoccupied homes to Council on March 8, 2016.

The findings of the study, which looked at 225,000 homes in Vancouver, showed that:
* The percentage of unoccupied homes has remained steady since 2002 – about 4.8 per cent for all housing types.
* Looking at data from 225,000 homes, a total of 10,800 homes were empty for a year or more.

* Of all the empty homes identified, 90 per cent were condos and apartments.

* The percentage of empty single-family and duplex properties remains the same as 2002 at around 1 per cent.

* Census data shows that the percentage of empty apartment and condo units in Vancouver is about the same as other large Canadian cities.
The full presentation on empty homes can be found here:

The consultant report on empty homes can be found here:

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