Empty? British Columbia Translates Housing Speculation Into Social Housing

empty house
turret roof photo by Mike is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0
Revenues from a tax on homes held empty are being directed to build new social housing.

Vancouver, B.C. has been home to some fairly insane social housing practices that, rather than supporting residents with low and no income, seem far better designed to leech government subsidies for industry profit.1

One recent action by the British Columbia government, however, is indeed benefiting low and no income Vancouverites. Two years ago it was decided that outrageous housing prices — not just in Vancouver but province-wide — were at least partly a fault of rampant speculator involvement in the housing market. Many of the speculators found it more profitable to kept their investments empty, adding to the scarcity of housing and driving up prices. Accordingly, BC decided to tax empty homes.2

This new ’empty house’ tax has indeed proved fruitful, and Vancouver (among other B.C. communities) is now beginning to reap the rewards. Read more in VANCOUVER IS AWESOME: City of Vancouver awards $8.7 million in grants for social housing


  1. Try: Vancouver BC Decline And Fall Of The Million Dollar Social Housing Unit
  2. Try: British Columbia Tax Successfully Cools Vancouver’s $$$$$ Housing Market