With the provincial government announcing a home partnership program that will loan money to first-time home buyers, NDP MLA for Stikine Doug Donaldson has some concerns.
“A program where young people are going to take out a second mortgage for a down payment when we known households and people are facing record levels of debt isn’t what financial analysts would say is a good program,” says Donaldson.
“This announcement does nothing” to address the affordable housing issues in Smithers and Stikine, says Donaldson. He’d rather see the 703 million dollar program money spent to beef that up.
The money is said to come from land transfer taxes for the program that will match down-payments with a 25 year interest free loan with no payments for five years.
“If interest rates rise five years from now, when they’re expected to repay this second mortgage, then we get into the circumstances that led to the crash of 2008, 2009 when we had foreclosures happening left, right and centre.”
However, Premiere Christy Clark says the program is aimed at increasing home ownership.
“The dream of home ownership must stay within reach of the middle class here in British Columbia. We must make sure it is easier for first time home-buyers to find their way in a really tough housing market right here.”
Clark adds the new program is a way to further assist those in our province.
“It is hard working British Columbians who have built this, our economy in BC into the fastest growing and leading economy in the country. We are giving back some of that benefit and economic strength to the people who have earned it.”
Applications will be accepted starting January 16 with an aim to assist 42,000 households in the province.
To qualify, you must have a combined household income of $150,000 or less.