Housing policy news: April 2022

April 29, 2022



  • Supreme Court of Canada upholds ruling that Nova Scotia’s housing practices are discriminatory to people with disabilities On April 14, 2022, the Supreme Court of Canada dismissed the Government of Nova Scotia’s request to appeal an earlier court decision that found the province has systematically discriminated against people with disabilities by failing to provide them with meaningful access to community supports and services, effectively segregating them from the community and forcing them to live in institutions which didn’t meet their needs. The court also ordered the government to pay costs to the Disability Rights Coalition, which launched the case.


  • Advocates call on the Quebec government to create a rent registry In the face of rising rents, the Coalition of Housing Committees and Tenant Associations of Quebec (RCLALQ) is calling on the Quebec government to create a rent registry so that prospective tenants can see the amount of rent that the previous tenant paid for the same unit. This may discourage some landlords from hiking up rents for new tenants.  



  • The City of Edmonton has proposed a new strategy to address growing homelessness and encampments City staff have presented a new plan to address homelessness and encampments in Edmonton, where the number of people experiencing homelessness has more than doubled during the pandemic. The plan will include a new Indigenous-led team to provide outreach support, and other outreach teams to support people into bridge housing and temporary units. The City expects the number of people who are sleeping outdoors will continue to grow. This is in part because provincial pandemic emergency shelter funding ended in March, which will cause a 44% drop in the number of available shelter spaces. 


  • Victoria has passed new legislation to speed up the construction of affordable housing On April 14, 2022, Victoria City Council passed new legislation that will speed up the construction of housing projects that are owned and managed by non-profits, co-operatives or government agencies. Projects that meet the City’s community plan and design guidelines will be allowed to bypass the City Council and go directly to the Director of Sustainable Planning for approval.  
  • Vancouver will increase its Empty Homes Tax to 5% in 2023 On April 27, 2022, Vancouver City Council unanimously voted to increase the Empty Homes Tax to 5% in 2023, and have directed City staff to investigate the possibility of increasing it to 10% in the future. This follows the Mayor’s announcement made earlier in the month that the 3% tax has raised $32 million to be invested in affordable housing projects, and has reduced the number of vacant homes in Vancouver.  
  • The first draft of the Vancouver Plan has been released After several years of consultation, Vancouver City staff have released the Vancouver Plan which will guide the City’s strategic land use and growth policies until 2050. The plan focuses on three areas: more equitable housing and complete neighbourhoods; an economy that works for all and; climate protection and restored ecosystems. If passed, the plan will outline changes that are needed to land use bylaws to allow for mixed-use, purpose-built rental and social housing across the city. Following another round of public consultations held in April, staff will present a revised draft to Council to vote on in June. 
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