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Purpose of the Empty Homes Tax

We introduced the Empty Homes Tax in 2017 to help:

  • Return empty or under-utilized properties to use as long-term rental homes for people who live and work in Vancouver
  • Relieve pressure on Vancouver's rental housing market, as our city has one of the lowest rental vacancy rates in Canada

The Empty Homes Tax program is governed by the Vacancy Tax (Empty Homes Tax) By-law 11674  (184 KB).

The Empty Homes Tax is one of many actions in our 10-year Housing Vancouver Strategy, which is designed to address the housing crisis and make housing more livable and affordable for Vancouver residents. 

Net revenues from the tax are being reinvested into affordable housing initiatives across the city.

Impacts of the tax

Isolating the effect of the Empty Homes Tax in a housing market as dynamic as that of Vancouver is challenging. However, since the tax launched in 2017 we have noted positive trends.

of properties declared or deemed vacant in 2019 were converted to occupied in 2020
reduction in vacant properties (2017 to 2020)
million of revenues from the tax allocated to support affordable housing initiatives (2017 to 2020)

Review the 2020 Empty Homes Tax Annual Report (459 KB) to learn more about the impact of the tax and the housing initiatives it supports. 

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Questions about the Empty Homes Tax?

Read FAQ