Vancouver wants public views on empty homes

Residents of Vancouver are being asked for their opinions on how to tackle the issue of vacant properties. The City of Vancouver is holding an open online consultation at canvassing views on what action the should be taken.

The survey follows a report released by the council in March which revealed that 10,800 homes were left empty for a year or more in the city; although the overall rate of unoccupied homes had been steady since 2002 at 4.8 per cent. The study found that condos and apartments made up 90 per cent of the vacant homes.

Proposed action includes taxing short term investors; prohibiting rental strata restrictions; and higher taxes for unoccupied properties. However, the council acknowledges that it has limited tools to tackle the issue of empty homes and will need provincial government support.

The consultation is open until May 16.

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