As of Jan. 16, British Columbians looking to purchase their first home can apply to the B.C. Home Owner Mortgage and Equity Partnership program, which helps first-time homebuyers create secure and stable futures for their families through home ownership.
In the first four days of applications, 125 applications have been submitted for evaluation. Since then, 70 applicants have been approved in 23 communities throughout B.C., including one in Kamloops.
The B.C. HOME Partnership is designed to help first-time homebuyers who can afford the costs of home ownership, but are experiencing challenges with the initial step in entering the market – that is, getting together a down payment.
The goal of the program is to help more British Columbians establish a nest egg and ensure the dream of home ownership remains in reach for families. The program contributes to the amount first-time buyers have already saved for their down payment, providing up to $37,500, or up to 5% of the purchase price, with a 25-year loan that is interest-free and payment-free for the first five years.
In Kamloops, the average purchase price for a residential detached house is approximately $378,000. If a first-time buyer saves $9,450 towards their down payment, or 2.5% of the home’s purchase price, the Province will contribute $9,450, equal to the buyer’s 2.5% down payment. This brings the total down payment to $18,900 or 5% of the home’s purchase price, as required by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation.
Under the B.C. HOME Partnership program, homebuyers must first qualify for an insured high-ratio mortgage, to ensure they can afford payments both today and in the future.
Applications are now being accepted for purchases that close on or after Feb. 15, 2017.
Todd Stone, MLA for Kamloops-South Thompson –
“I encourage all eligible first-time homebuyers in Kamloops to apply for the B.C. HOME Partnership program. This support from the Province will ensure the dream of home ownership remains in reach for families in the community and throughout B.C.”
Teague Brinkworth, president, Mortgage West Brokers –
“The new B.C. HOME Partnership Program is a great initiative for first-time homebuyers and their families. With rental rates high and day-to-day expenses on the rise, this program allows families to invest in themselves and experience the pride of home ownership that much sooner.”
Rob Lemire, president, Canadian Home Builders’ Association – Central Interior –
“Our members at the CHBA Central Interior understand the significant contribution first-time homebuyers make in supporting the Kamloops housing market and construction industry. By providing some important financial assistance, the B.C. HOME Partnership will help many people in our region make their first step into home ownership.”
- Through the B.C. HOME Partnership program, the Province is investing about $703 million over the next three years to help an estimated 42,000 B.C. households enter the market for the first time.
- The Province’s commitment to housing action is driven by six key principles:
- Ensuring the dream of home ownership remains within the reach of the middle class
- Increasing housing supply
- Smart transit expansion
- Supporting first-time homebuyers
- Ensuring consumer protection
- Increasing rental supply
- The B.C. government has committed $855 million over five years, including $575 million in 2016-17, to support the construction or renovation of 4,900 units of affordable housing throughout the province.
- Since 2001, the B.C. government has invested $4.9 billion to provide affordable housing for low income individuals, seniors and families.
- More than 104,000 B.C. households benefit from a diverse range of provincial housing programs and services.
To learn more about the B.C. Home Owner Mortgage and Equity Partnership program and how to apply, please visit: www.bchousing.org/housing-assistance/bc-home-partnership/program-overview-applicant-information
B.C. Home Owner Mortgage and Equity Partnership program, BC Housing:
Phone: 604 439-4727
Toll Free Number: 1 844 365-4727
To learn more about the Province's actions on housing affordability, visit: http://housingaction.gov.bc.ca/
A backgrounder follows.
Laura MathewsBC Housing
Am I eligible for a partnership loan?
The program supports eligible first-time homebuyers who are approved for an insured high ratio first mortgage. To qualify for the program, all individuals on title must:
- Have been a Canadian citizen or permanent resident for at least five years.
- Have resided in British Columbia for at least one year immediately preceding the date of application.
- Be a first-time buyer who has not owned an interest in a residence anywhere in the world at any time.
- Use the property as their principal residence for the first five years.
- Purchase a home that has a purchase price of $750,000 or less (excluding taxes and fees).
- Obtain a high-ratio insured first mortgage on the property for at least 80% of the purchase price.
- Have a combined, gross household income of all individuals on title not exceeding $150,000.
- Have saved a down payment amount at least equal to the loan amount for which the buyer applied.
What do I do and how do I apply?
Step 1: Get preapproval for an insured first mortgage from your financial lending institution.
Step 2: Apply to BC Housing for the B.C. Home Owner Mortgage and Equity Partnership program loan. If you are eligible, you will receive confirmation of eligibility and Homebuyer’s Kit, which includes information for your lender, real estate licensee, and lawyer/notary public.
Step 3: Find your home and provide the details of your planned purchase to BC Housing for approval.
Applications for the program are now being accepted for purchases that close on or after Feb. 15, 2017.
What information will I need to apply?
Buyers can begin gathering the documents they’ll need to submit an online application. Buyers will need:
- Proof of status in Canada and residency in British Columbia.
- Secondary identification (must include your photo).
- Proof of income and tax filings.
- Insured first mortgage pre-approval.
More information about these requirements: https://homeownerservices.bchousing.org/