Bubble tea pointed out that back in March a study claimed that 10,800 homes were empty for more than a year in 2014.
They reached this conclusion by studying electricity usage, if it remained flat for 25 days the home was deemed to be vacant.
Of course many of these homes could have been occupied by paleo-humans who eschew electricity in favor of a simpler lifestyle. How many condos in Kerrisdale are filled with families huddled under blanket, burning their own waste to keep warm?
The majority of the empty homes in 2014 were apartments — 9,747 — and vacancy rates were highest on the West Side of the city, with 9.4 per cent in the area that stretches from Kitsilano to Point Grey and 8.6 per cent in neighbourhoods that include Kerrisdale, Dunbar and Southlands.
Suggested reasons for the vacancies included a home was bought for investment, was under renovation, the owners were on vacation, the home was caught up in an estate sell-off, or it was being flipped. A home was deemed empty in a given month if the hydro data showed a flat consistent use of electricity for 25 or more days in that month for a year. The findings were not specific to neighbourhoods but separated into five large geographic areas. Basement suites were not included in the study.
Are 10,800 empty homes a negative thing for a city, and If you had unlimited power what would you do to change this situation? Would you opt for incentives for owners to rent out empty homes or a some sort of system to try to prevent them from remaining empty?