I heard on CBC today that Councilor TimStevenson is introducing a motion to tax empty (read; speculator/flipper) houses at a higher rate. It will probably get shot down in Council, but quelle idee. There are other aspects to the motion as well - such as mandatory inspections (for health and safety) for all rental properties. Also not a bad idea.
- An anti-vacancy by-law, which would increase the levels of taxation on vacant properties being held for the purposes of speculation;
- The consideration of past compliance with building standards and owner history when granting new development permits;
- A publicly accessible database to monitor evictions throughout the city as well as conversions to student housing, and would provide a list of buildings protected under the SRA regulations; and
- A downtown eastside planning office, whose sole responsibility would be to inform local residents of planned developments, and facilitate meaningful community participation in neighbourhood development..
I found a link to this on Vision Vancouver's website
Some of the usual suspects (whoever they are) said that it is ridiculous and unworkable. I guess most things that are for the good of society tend to be seen that way. Let's face it, it was rampant greed and speculation that drove the market up - to the detriment of this city and its citizens. Not just those that can't, or won't pay such ludicrous prices to rent from the bank, but those that would/could, and shackled themselves with a lifetime of debt. Sorry about all the restaurants and retail when there is no disposable income left. Sorry about the city.