Edmonton’s New Tax Subclass to Address Derelict Properties

Earlier this month, the Edmonton City Council has given the green light to a new approach for tackling residential properties that exhibit severe signs of neglect, dilapidation, despair, or are uninhabitable.

Starting in 2024, this tax subclass marks a significant milestone, making Edmonton the first city in Canada to introduce this framework for addressing derelict properties.

Discussions regarding the new tax subclass started a year ago and involved crafting a clear and precise definition to distinguish derelict properties from problem properties. Problem properties pose substantial risks to the health and safety of both residents and the surrounding community. These properties often have a history of recurring violations concerning development permits, safety codes, nuisance conditions, public health, fire hazards, or other unlawful activities and criminal offenses.

Derelict properties, on the other hand, encompass those that have been deserted or abandoned, partially or entirely boarded up, secured, and are unfit for habitation. Notably, this year, the definition expanded to include properties abandoned partway through construction or demolition.

This means that not all problem properties will be considered derelict and vice versa.

The implementation of this new tax subclass is poised to impact an estimated 300 property owners. They will receive notifications by mail this fall, informing them of the forthcoming derelict property assessment.

The purpose of this tool is to confront the negative impact of derelict properties, fostering a desire for compliance, maintenance, or ultimately, selling the property to someone willing to revitalize it.

Adding to this effort for revitalization, the Edmonton Community Development Company (ECDC) is committed to becoming part of the solution in addressing derelict properties through the Project 10 initiative. ECDC acquires derelict properties, demolishes them, and builds new homes, fostering a sense of renewal and community development. Their primary focus is on neighbourhoods with a history of disinvestment, including areas like McCauley and Alberta Avenue.

Derelict properties are magnets for undesirable activities and can cast a shadow on the entire neighbourhood. The new tax subclass is a crucial step in enhancing the vibrancy of mature neighbourhoods, with the aim of improving the living conditions and overall quality of life for Edmontonians. 
To report a problem property, you can reach out to the city by calling 311 or utilize the online "Report a Problem Property" form. 

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