Government and real estate roundup: Empty Homes Tax details, National Housing Strategy summary report, regulating Airbnbs, and more

The Federal Government, as promised during its election campaign, is moving toward a National Housing Strategy. After months of consultations, here’s a summary of what Canadians have told the government they want in this strategy.

The province will spend $516 million of the Foreign Buyers Tax it’s collected on 2,900 new units of housing in 68 projects by the spring of 2019.secondary_suites

The City of Vancouver is bringing in a 1% Empty Homes Tax effective January 1, 2017. The city estimates the tax will encourage vacant home owners — about 20,000 — to rent their property. The tax is estimated to raise $2.2 million a year when fully implemented.

Vancouver is also reviewing its rules on short-term rentals including Airbnbs, and studying the effect these rentals – there are close to 6,000 of them – are having on rental and home ownership housing stocks. The city will work with stakeholders to develop a detailed compliance and enforcement system. We’re talking to the city about opportunities for input.

Vancouver is also looking at character home rezoning in Vancouver for pre-1940 homes and is conducting a character home review. There are opportunities to attend an open house and take an online survey.

For more information, please contact: Gino Pezzani.

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