Vancouver will have an Empty Homes Tax effective January 1, 2017, with staff reporting on the Tax’s next steps to Council on Tuesday. Targeting the known 10,800 year-round empty and roughly 10,000 more under-occupied homes in Vancouver, staff are recommending that all non-principal residences (except those qualifying for an exemption) which are unoccupied for six full months of the year or more will be subject to a one (1) per cent Empty Homes Tax. Vacant residential land will also be subject to the Tax.
Minister Morneau’s announcement that the federal government will expand infrastructure funding to $186 billion over 11 years – a $66 billion increase over March’s budget - is a welcome one. The new $35 billion Infrastructure Development Bank, and more trade and transportation infrastructure funding to help cities maximize their borrowing capacity is good news for Metro Vancouver.
Council has approved rezonings to facilitate nearly 1000 new homes this week, includingmore than 200 new rental apartments, and a major project at South East Marine Drive and Fraser Street that will deliver 368 homes and 37 new childcare spaces. Also approved for rezoning was Japanese architecht Kengo Kuma’s 43 storey carved tower at Alberni and Cardero.
October 17, 2016 - Mayor Gregor Robertson met with Vancouver residents today to discuss their struggle to buy or rent in an unaffordable housing market. In partnership with Generation Squeeze, the Mayor’s Roundtable focused on housing affordability for residents under 40, and included participants from across the City facing a variety of challenges in accessing affordable housing in Vancouver.
Next week, Council will consider recommendations for increasing base level operating cash grants for seven local cultural organizations, in a report being presented on Tuesday. The funding provides a $110,300 boost in an effort to equalize support among cultural organizations that deliver core civic programs and services.