In the 2018 Vancouver municipal election, Mayor Kennedy Stewart promised to raise the empty home tax from one percent to three percent.
Now, just one year into his mandate, he’s already reneging on his campaign promise. You can read more details in my October 31 blog.
Empty home taxes are meant to pressure property owners into renting their homes, instead of leaving them empty. With Vancouver’s vacancy rate hovering around one percent, affordable rentals are desperately needed especially by families and people with low incomes.
The weather is turning colder now—a stark reminder that this is an especially scary time for people who are homeless, under-housed or at risk.
I felt so strongly about this issue that I started an online petition to strengthen Mayor Stewart’s resolve. It already has over 300 signatures, and I’m hopeful we can get more than 500, at which time I’ll send it to the mayor and members of council.
When I was on city council, I received a number of petitions during my six-year tenure. I would always take the time to reply to each and every person who signed them so I could outline my position. I wanted them to know where I stood on the issue because I think that it’s so important for politicians be held accountable.
Let’s put pressure on Mayor Stewart to keep his election promise. I hope he takes the time at least to reply to me. If and when he (or any member of council) does, I promise you I’ll let you know the response.
You can sign my petition here. Please forward and share on social media, so Vancouverites can get the homes they need!