Housing policy news: January 2022

January 31, 2022


  • New report proposes a surtax on homes worth over $1 million A new report from Generation Squeeze proposes a federal surtax be placed on homes valued over $1 million when they are either sold or inherited. The report proposes that the funds earned through this tax be invested into affordable housing initiatives, including providing benefits for renters and building new purpose-built rental units and co-operative housing.



  • Charlottetown City Council takes another step forward to regulate short-term rentals Charlottetown City Council has unanimously voted in the first reading of a proposed bylaw that would limit the types of housing units that are permitted to operate as short-term rentals in the city. The proposed rules would ban property owners from operating multiple short-term rental properties, and only permitted in principal residences. The Council’s Advisory Committee on Affordable Housing has recommended that a one-year grace period be given to owners who would no longer be eligible. The Council is set to vote again in February on amendments to the proposed bylaw.


  • Ottawa’s final proposal for a Residential Vacant Unit Tax expected to arrive this spring Ottawa City Council will vote on the final report of a proposed Residential Vacant Unit Tax this spring. If passed, the tax will take effect at the beginning of 2023. Under the proposed framework, homeowners will be taxed if their property is vacant for over 184 days in a calendar year, with some exemptions allowed. The tax aims to incentivize homeowners to occupy or rent their properties, and funds raised through the tax would be used toward affordable housing initiatives.
  • Region of Peel recommends developing a Vacant Home Tax proposal On January 27, staff at the Region of Peel presented the Regional Council with a detailed report assessing the feasibility of a Vacant Home Tax in the region. The report highlighted that the tax could help increase the supply of housing in the region, as well as generate funds to support affordable housing initiatives. Following the presentation, the Regional Council voted in favour of developing a proposal for a Vacant Home Tax, and asked staff to work on the details of that proposal.


  • First-ever BC Urban, Rural, and Northern Indigenous Housing Strategy released The Aboriginal Housing Management Association (AHMA) has published the province’s first strategy aimed at filling gaps in the National Housing Strategy by protecting the housing rights of all Indigenous peoples residing in urban, rural and Northern communities in British Columbia. The strategy is based on an assessment of Indigenous housing needs for the next 10 years, and strategic actions focus on securing funding, increasing housing units and affordability, creating safe, supportive, and culturally appropriate environments, and cultivating Indigenous housing expertise. AHMA has indicated that implementation of the strategy is dependent on federal and provincial funding and resourcing.


  • Nunavut leaders calls for housing solutions to curb COVID-19 and Tuberculosis outbreaks Premier P.J. Akeeagok says that overcrowding and a lack of adequate housing are contributing to the rapid spread of COVID-19 in communities across Nunavut. Some areas of the territory are also battling a tuberculosis outbreak, which the Mayor of Pangnirtung, Eric Lawlor, also attributes to the lack of adequate housing. The Premier says that housing is the top priority for the territory, and calls for urgent action to find short-term and long-term solutions to address the housing crisis.
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