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 Okanagan Mainline Real Estate Board in their December 2016 statistics, in the Central Okanagan, the average purchase price for a townhouse is approximately $437,463. If a first-time buyer saves $10,936 towards their down payment, or 2.5% of the home’s purchase price, the Province will contribute $10,936, equal to the buyer’s 2.5% down payment. This brings the total down payment to $21,873 or 5% of the home’s purchase price, as required by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation.
Applications are now being accepted for purchases that close on or after Feb. 15, 2017.
Premier Christy Clark, MLA for Westside-Kelowna –
“By helping to make the dream of home ownership a reality, the BC HOME Partnership allows British Columbians to share the benefits of that success and put down roots in their communities.”
Steve Thomson, MLA for Kelowna-Mission –
“The challenges of saving for a down payment can make home ownership seem out of reach. By making it more affordable to enter the market, the BC HOME Partnership can help first-time buyers attain that secure, stable life they want for themselves and their families.”
Norm Letnick, MLA for Kelowna-Lake Country –
“This program has great potential to change the lives of aspiring first time homebuyers in the Central Okanagan. With an investment of approximately $703 million over three years, we will be able to help an estimated 42,000 B.C. households buy their first home.”
Sally Hazel, mortgage broker, LendingMax –
“The BC HOME Partnership program can truly help those individuals who've been experiencing rising rent costs and possibly paying off student loans, making it more difficult to save for a down payment. Often, first-time home buyers are just starting out in their careers and have good rising income potential, so reducing their costs during the first five years of home ownership can get them over that hump.
“Of particular interest to me, and even greater financial benefit for my buyers, is the opportunity for those who have already saved 5% or 10% of their own funds. With the additional 5% from the BC HOME Partnership loan, the savings per month for the first five years is quite significant – as high as $95 to $215 on a $400,000 purchase.”
- 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.