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Second year of Empty Homes Tax under way

All property owners must declare by February 4, 2019

“Housing affordability is the most important issue in our city, and the Empty Homes Tax is helping to free up more potential rental units that should be available as homes for Vancouver residents,” said Mayor Kennedy Stewart.

November 7 2018 –

The second year of the Empty Homes Tax is under way with advance property tax notices being mailed to all Vancouver residential property owners starting today.

Every owner of residential property in Vancouver must submit a property status declaration again this year, even if the property is their principal residence.

Helping to fund affordable housing

Vancouver’s Empty Homes Tax was put in place to encourage more property owners to make their unoccupied properties available for rent. The revenue from the tax is also being used to fund affordable housing initiatives in the city.

“Housing affordability is the most important issue in our city, and the Empty Homes Tax is helping to free up more potential rental units that should be available as homes for Vancouver residents,” said Mayor Kennedy Stewart. 

By the numbers

In the first year of the Empty Homes Tax:

  • Close to 184,000 declarations were submitted, which represented 99% of all residential property owners in Vancouver
  • Of the declarations submitted, 92% were completed online, 5% by phone, and 3% in person
  • The City has estimated $30 million to be generated by the tax for the 2017 tax year, with approximately $18 million collected to date
  • $8 million has already been earmarked by Council for specific affordable housing initiatives

More complete data on the first year of the program will be published in the Empty Homes Tax Annual Report, to be posted on our website by December 1, 2018.

Declare early

Property owners are encouraged to declare early at vancouver.ca/eht-declare and will need the folio number and access code from the front of their advance property tax notice. Notices are being sent out in a staggered mailing between now and the end of November.

There will be no extension of the February 4, 2019 declaration deadline and property owners who fail to declare by the due date will have their properties deemed vacant and be subject to the tax. Those who declare late will also pay a $250 penalty.

Learn more

The Empty Homes Tax rate is 1% of the property’s assessed taxable value for that tax year.

Most residential property owners will not be subject to the Empty Homes Tax, as it does not apply to principal residences, properties rented for at least six months of the year, or properties that are eligible for one of eight exemptions.

Property owners who need assistance to make their declaration can visit City Hall or any Vancouver Public Library branch for in-person help, or call 3-1-1 which offers translation services. Instructions for how to declare are also available in multiple languages.

Visit our Empty Homes Tax webpage