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Province now taking applications for house down payment help

As of today, you can apply for the Home Owner Mortgage and Equity (HOME) Partnership program.

The Province announced the program last month to help first-time homebuyers with their down payments by matching the owner’s payment up to $37,500 or 5% of the property value. This 25-year-loan is both interest-free and payment-free for the first five years.

Housing Minister Richard Coleman says the ministry received more applications today than anticipated, and eight approval letters will go out tomorrow.

Not only does this help new home buyers, but he adds it helps the rental market as well.

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“Not only do we raise individuals up and individuals up to be able to buy and own, we’ll also create additional rental product that will help us to actually deal with the housing problems we have here in British Columbia.”

However, this program has been met with a lot of opposition. Just last week, BC NDP housing spokesperson David Eby said he couldn’t believe how long it took for the Province to make this announcement.

During a question period after today’s presentation, Coleman was asked to respond to critics and economists predicting this program will eventually drive housing prices up.I think they’re wrong,” he states,” let’s say 10,000 people took advantage of this, the 10,000 units, that’s not a very number, and the number of properties turn over in British Columbia every year. So this isn’t going to fuel the market it’s not large enough to change the market.”

“I think they’re wrong,” he states, “let’s say 10,000 people took advantage of this; the 10,000 units, that’s not a very number and the number of properties turn over in British Columbia every year. So this isn’t going to fuel the market. It’s not large enough to change the market.”

He also believes the program rates will be low enough to compete with banks, even when homeowners are paying both their mortgages and this program fee.

You can see if you’re eligible for HOME here.

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