A City of Vancouver report to council shows 25,495 units were unoccupied or occupied by temporary and/or foreign residents in 2016.

The data reflects a 98 percent increase from 2001 when the number was 12,885 homes.

The report was written by Gil Kelley, the general manager of planning, urban design and sustainability — with data collected from Statistics Canada.

vancouver empty homes graph

(City of Vancouver)

The purpose of the study was to establish the number of homes that could be impacted by the Empty Homes Tax (EHT) program.

The City of Vancouver voted to approve the EHT in May 2016 as a way to address the escalating crisis in housing.

Every owner of residential property in Vancouver will have to make a property status declaration for the 2017 calendar year — with declarations due February 2, 2018.

The program is the first of its kind in Canada and is meant to encourage owners to rent out their vacant properties or face a one per cent tax on the property's assessed value. 

city of vancouver empty homes

(City of Vancouver)

In the fall of 2016, property owners were asked, as part of a city survey, why they weren't renting out their homes.

Over 50 per cent of responders indicated the home wasn't rented because they, themselves, or their friends and family, were occasionally using it.

Strata rental restrictions were also frequently given as a reason for not renting out homes.