Statement from Mayor on empty homes report

“The analysis on empty homes in Vancouver presented to Council today sheds some light on one of the many housing challenges we face in our city. Although the data shows that the percentage of empty homes has remained stagnant for well over a decade, it’s increased by 2,400 since 2002. It’s unacceptable that so many homes are left empty at a time so many of our residents are struggling to find appropriate housing. Housing needs to be first and foremost for people to live in, not to be treated as a commodity.

“This issue has been a concern of mine for some time and I wrote to the premier last summer requesting the BC government give us tools to better track and discourage homes from staying empty for long periods of time. We are still looking forward to a response on this issue. I would hope that with the release of today’s information, that the BC government will work with us and other municipalities in Metro Vancouver to deal with this issue.

“The BC government, in last month’s throne speech and recent budget, said that the way to deal with housing affordability is to increase supply. Reducing the number of empty homes would be one way to do that.”

Gregor Robertson
Mayor, City of Vancouver