Empty Homes Tax put to good use – Vancouver creates affordable housing
Vancouver’s Empty Homes Tax (EHT) is reducing the number of vacant residential properties in Vancouver. From the 2017 to 2021 (most recent data), the number of vacant properties decreased by 36 per cent based on data collected under the EHT program.
From 2018 to 2019, there was an increase of 5,920 condominium units in the long-term rental stock. In 2020 a total of 2,455 new rental units were added and in 2021 a total of 615 new rental units.
Since the tax launched, more than $115.3 million of net revenues from the tax has been allocated to support affordable housing initiatives in Vancouver.
Funds went to the Community Housing Incentive Program (CHIP). The program provides non-profit housing providers with grants for affordability social and co-op housing projects.
In 2022 grants included:
- $5.5 million to Brightside Community Homes for the redevelopment of Alice Saunders House, creating 146 new homes;
- $6 million to Soroptomist International Vancouver for the redevelopment of a 21 unit apartment, to create 135 new homes for women including seniors, single women and working professionals;
- $4.8 million for the redevelopment of First United Church at Gore and Hastings, in partnership with Lu’ma Native Housing, creating 103 new units of affordable housing.
- an additional $60 million added to the 2023-2026 Capital Plan to support additional CHIP Grants.