As of Jan. 16, 2017, 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.
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.
As reported by the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board in their December 2016 statistics, in Abbotsford, the benchmark price for a townhouse is approximately $295,000. If a first-time buyer saves $7,375 towards their down payment, or 2.5% of the home’s purchase price, the Province will contribute $7,375, equal to the buyer’s 2.5% down payment. This brings the total down payment to $14,750 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.
Abbotsford-South MLA Darryl Plecas –
“What this program does is help first-time home buyers overcome that first major hurdle of a down payment that many encounter on their pathway to home ownership. In doing so, we’re empowering British Columbians to get into the market and ensuring that homeownership remains a possibility for all.”
Crystal Foti, president, Canadian Northwest Mortgage Corp. –
“This initiative by the B.C. government will assist first-time buyers in my community whose greatest barrier to entry into the real estate market has been not having sufficient down payment. In a tight market where rents often exceed what the mortgage payment would be, this program provides a light at the end of the rental tunnel. This is also an amazing opportunity for savvy first-time buyers able to invest any additional disposable income during the five-year no payment or interest period and use any interest earned to pay down the down payment loan more quickly.”
- 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.