City of Vancouver urges homeowners to make their Empty Homes Tax declaration

Gregor Robertson Photo by Chandra Bodalia

Declarations can be made online, at City Hall or by calling 3-1-1

Gregor Robertson
Photo by Chandra Bodalia

EVERY Vancouver residential property owner has been sent instructions on how to make their Empty Homes Tax property status declaration and the City is encouraging residents to declare immediately to avoid unnecessary fines and penalties. Declarations can be made online, in person at City Hall or over the phone by calling 3-1-1.

“The Empty Homes Tax is one of the many tools we’re implementing to address Vancouver’s housing affordability crisis,” said Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson. “At a time when we have a near-zero vacancy rate and Vancouverites are struggling to find housing, we cannot sit back as more than 25,000 residential properties sit empty and under-occupied. We would like to urge all homeowners to submit their declarations as soon as possible – it’s a quick and simple process to complete.”

The City is offering a number of support services to assist homeowners through the declaration process, including information sessions at community centres and technical assistance at all Vancouver Public Library locations.

Every owner of residential property in Vancouver is required to submit a declaration by February 2, 2018. Homeowners who fail to declare by the due date will have their properties deemed vacant and will be subject to the Empty Homes Tax at a rate of 1% of the property’s 2017 assessed taxable value, as well as a $250 penalty.

On average, it only takes two minutes to complete the online declaration at vancouver.ca/eht-declare. Residents who would prefer to declare in person may visit City Hall during opening hours to receive assistance from staff.

Homeowners who require translation services can complete their declaration over the phone by calling 3-1-1 and utilizing the City’s call centre translation service. Alternatively, they may give permission for someone to submit their declaration on their behalf.

The City is also inviting homeowners to attend Empty Homes Tax information sessions at select community centres in December and January. Attendees at December sessions will be provided with in depth instructions on how to make a declaration and will have the opportunity to ask questions about the tax and the declaration process.

During January sessions, City staff will be available to assist homeowners to complete their declarations. These sessions have limited seats and must be reserved online atrecreation.vancouver.ca. If community groups are interested in requesting extra sessions they may do so by emailing [email protected].

 

December Empty Homes Tax information sessions:

Thursday, December 14, 12:30pm – 2:30pm

Sunset Community Centre

6810 Main Street

Friday, December 15, 10:30am – 12:30pm

Hillcrest Centre

4575 Clancy Loranger Way

Friday, December 15, 11am – 1pm

West Point Grey Community Centre

4397 W 2nd Avenue

January Empty Homes Tax information sessions:

 

Monday, January 8, 10:30am – 12:00pm

Jewish Community Centre

950 W 41st Avenue

Monday, January 8, 11am – 12:30pm

West Point Grey Community Centre

4397 W 2nd Avenue

Tuesday, January 9, 11:15am – 12:45pm

Roundhouse Community Arts & Recreation Centre

181 Roundhouse Mews

Wednesday, January 10, 1pm – 2:30pm

False Creek Community Centre

1318 Cartwright Street

Thursday, January 11, 10:30am – 12:30pm

Kerrisdale Community Centre

5851 West Boulevard

Friday, January 12, 11am – 12:30pm

Strathcona Community Centre

601 Keefer Street

Monday, January 15, 1pm – 2:30pm

Renfrew Park Community Centre

2929 E 22nd Avenue

Wednesday, January 17, 1:30pm – 3pm

Douglas Park Community Centre

801 W 22nd Avenue

Friday, January 19, 12:45pm – 2:15pm

Trout Lake Community Centre

3360 Victoria Drive

Housing Vancouver Strategy

The Empty Homes Tax is one of many actions that the City is taking to increase the supply of rental housing and improve housing affordability in Vancouver.  On November 29, City Council approved the new Housing Vancouver Strategy.  The 10-year strategy proposes a significant increase in housing supply: 72,000 new homes over 10 years, with two-thirds of those homes to be rental. More information on the Housing Vancouver strategy can be found at vancouver.ca/housing.

For more information on the Empty Homes Tax, visit vancouver.ca/eht.