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Potential Vacant Homes Tax


Halton is considering a potential vacant homes tax that could encourage owners of unoccupied homes to rent or sell, helping to improve the number available for residents.

What is a vacant homes tax?

A vacant homes tax is an additional tax on unoccupied homes. It could encourage owners to sell or rent them out, helping to increase the number of homes available in Halton. This type of tax is commonly implemented in communities with high housing prices and a low supply of homes for sale or rent.

Working to help improve housing supply with a Vacant Homes Tax Study

Housing supply and affordability can be a challenge for those who want to live in our growing community. One way we are addressing this issue is studying how a vacant homes tax could help improve housing supply and contribute to Halton's Comprehensive Housing Strategy

In June 2021, Halton Regional Council directed staff to report back on a potential tax on vacant homes. A feasibility assessment undertaken by Ernst & Young LLP found that a vacant homes tax could help reduce the number of vacant homes in Halton. In April 2022, Regional Council directed staff to develop a proposed vacant homes tax program framework, which includes:
  • completing public engagement to obtain input from residents and stakeholders; and
  • undertaking a design and implementation study to develop the proposed VHT program framework.
Vacant Homes Tax

Would I be affected?

The potential vacant homes tax would only apply to unoccupied homes. It will only affect those who own a home in Halton that is vacant.

Vacant homes tax timeline

  • June 2021

    Council Direction: Council provided direction to staff to report back on a tax on vacant homes.

  • October 2021

    Update Provided: Work underway (PDF file) to undertake a feasibility assessment for a potential vacant homes tax.

  • April 2022

    Feasibility Assessment: Feasibility Assessment for vacant homes tax (PDF file) conducted by Ernst & Young LLP and reported to Council through FN-15-22 (PDF file).

  • November 2022

    Public Consultation: Engaged with the public to gather input through an online survey and 2 online zoom webinars. The consultation concluded on November 30, 2022, and staff are reviewing community feedback.

  • 2022-2023

    Design and Implementation Study: Develop the proposed framework for the vacant homes tax, incorporating feedback received through public engagement.

  • November 2023

    Update provided to Council: Results of Public Engagement provided in report FN-41-23 (PDF file). Council passed a motion to pause work and to request the Province to establish the framework and policy for a Vacant Homes Tax.

  • April 2024

    Update provided to Council: FN-12-24 (PDF file) Provincial Policy Framework Released. Council approved that staff resume work on the study.

2022 Public meetings

The public engagement conducted in 2022 featured two virtual meetings open to all interested residents, businesses and stakeholders. To view recordings of these sessions, please play the videos below.