Metro Vancouver proposes $1 household tax to fund housing projects

Jul 20 2017, 3:45 pm

Households across the Metro Vancouver region could be asked to pay an annual tax equivalent to $1 per year to help fund affordable housing projects.

According to a Metro Vancouver Regional District staff report, the new revenue source would raise $1 million per year and it would be combined with the Housing Committee’s surplus funds to help cover 33% of the cost of redevelopment projects.

It could also allow the Regional District to tap into opportunities for federal and provincial housing grant programs.

However, if approved, municipal governments will have the final say on how their households are to be taxed. The Regional District’s proposal allocates costs based on the population of member municipalities, which will have the option on how to collect the tax.

The planned redevelopments of the Heather Place complex and Kingston Gardens, as well as future projects on vacant land owned by the Regional District, requires new long-term funding sources.

“Although a long term financial plan is still under development for renewing and re-developing aging MVHC housing complexes, it is known that there are insufficient funds under the current MVHC model to raise sufficient equity funding for redevelopment,” reads the report.

The Regional District’s board, comprised of elected representatives from each municipality, is scheduled to make a decision on whether to implement the tax tomorrow.