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 Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver in their December 2016 statistics, in North Vancouver, the benchmark price for an apartment is approximately $452,600. If a first-time buyer saves $11,315 towards their down payment, or 2.5% of the home’s purchase price, the Province will contribute $11,315, equal to the buyer’s 2.5% down payment. This brings the total down payment to $22,630 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.
North Vancouver-Seymour MLA Jane Thornthwaite –
“Purchasing a home is a big step for most people, and this program will make sure that the dream of home ownership remains within reach for British Columbians. It will help first-time home buyers build a secure and stable future.”
West Vancouver-Sea to Sky MLA Jordan Sturdy –
“While many eligible buyers are able to afford monthly payments, one of the biggest challenges can be saving up enough money for the initial down payment. For young families just starting out, this program helps them achieve the goal of owning their first home.”
North Vancouver-Lonsdale MLA Naomi Yamamoto –
“This program is aimed at people who want to move from the rental market into the security that home ownership provides. By helping families purchase their first home, they can begin building equity for the future.”
- 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.