City of Windsor Implements Vacant Home Tax to Boost Housing Supply

Mayor Drew Dilkens and City Council have officially launched a Vacant Home Tax (VHT) program for the City of Windsor. Complementing the Housing Solutions Made for Windsor plan, this initiative is aimed at increasing housing supply and reducing vacancy rates. This new measure underscores the City’s commitment to ensuring that every available residential space contributes positively to the community’s evolving housing needs.

The VHT will apply to residential properties that are determined to have remained unoccupied for more than 183 days in a calendar year without meeting the criteria for exemption. A tax of 3% of the assessment value of the property for the Vacancy Reference Year, as determined by the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC), will be billed and payable in the following calendar year. For this program rollout in the 2024 Billing Year, the City will calculate the VHT as 3% of the 2023 assessment value for a residential property that was vacant in 2023.

This program will run annually, with the net revenue generated from this initiative being re-invested into the City’s housing initiatives, including those outlined in the Housing Solutions Made for Windsor plan endorsed by City Council.

The VHT program is designed to be community-driven and will not require all property owners to complete a mandatory declaration of occupancy status. Only those properties suspected to be unoccupied will require the property owners to complete a declaration. A fine of $3,500 will be issued to any property owner who deliberately falsifies information on or in relation to a mandatory declaration.

“The Vacant Home Tax is just one of the many tools we are leveraging as part of our Housing Solutions Made for Windsor plan. This initiative will help increase housing supply, meet our housing targets, and ultimately create more vibrant neighbourhoods across the city. As we continue to experience an incredible growth trajectory in Windsor, Council remains focused on innovative local solutions to the housing crisis. I thank City administration for working to move development of this important program across the finish line. We look forward to seeing the positive impacts this will have on our efforts at Building Windsor’s Future.”

Mayor Drew Dilkens

Through implementation of the VHT program, Council seeks to build on Windsor’s efforts to reduce the number of vacant properties, thereby increasing the available housing supply and helping the City meet its aggressive housing targets. These efforts are expected to lower vacancy rates and ensure that residential spaces are used efficiently, benefiting the entire city.

For more information about the Vacant Home Tax program, its exemptions, the declaration of occupancy process, and more, visit our Municipal Vacant Home Tax web page.

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