It's time for a vacant homes tax in Toronto
I strongly support the proposal to implement a vacant homes tax in Toronto as a way to help ensure that homes and apartments in our City are being used for housing.
Toronto was struggling with an affordable housing and homelessness even before the pandemic. And the cost of housing has skyrocketed in recent years, making Toronto increasingly unaffordable for families, essential workers, and too many others.
A vacant homes tax is an important action that our City can take to address the affordable housing crisis. This tool has already been used successfully in other cities. In the first year of Vancouver's vacancy tax, the number of vacant units decreased by more than one fifth. Bringing the vacancy rate down means more homes available to rent by people actually living and working in Toronto, not simply profiting from rising property values. Any revenue from this tool can be dedicated to expanding affordable housing supports, like housing allowances, to help even more people find housing and stay in their homes.
A vacant homes tax is one more tool to help us build an affordable and equitable Toronto.