Home Owner Grant threshold raised after spike in B.C. property assessments

The B.C. government has raised the threshold for the Home Owner Grant to $1.2 million after a spike in the assessed value of thousands of Metro Vancouver properties.

Still, 91 per cent of homeowners will qualify for the full grant, down from 95 per cent in previous years

A hot real estate market has pushed property assessments in Greater Vancouver up 10 to 30 per cent over the past year. (Jenna Reid )

The B.C. government has raised the threshold for the Home Owner Grant to $1.2 million, but despite the $100,000 increase, the percentage of homeowners able to access the grant is still dropping.

The announcement comes after B.C. Assessment figures released yesterday showed thousands of homeowners would no longer qualify for the grant because of a 10 to 30 per cent increase in property values in Metro Vancouver.

In 2012, when Finance Minister Mike de Jong set the threshold at $1.285 million, about 95.5 per cent of homeowners were eligible for the full amount of the grant.

He then cut it to $1.1 million in 2014 in order to help the province balance its budget.

The Finance Ministry says, under the new $1.2 million threshold, about 91 per cent of B.C. homes are now eligible for the full grant, roughly equal to one million homes.

Homes in Metro Vancouver, Fraser Valley and Victoria regional districts under the threshold are eligible for up to $570, while those in the rest of the province are eligible for up to $770.

Partial grants top out at $14M

A ministry official said many homeowners who would have lost their eligibility under the old threshold of $1.1 million, will still be able to receive a partial grant this year under the new threshold.

Homes assessed up to  $1.314 million in Metro Vancouver, Fraser Valley and Capital Regional district are still eligible for a partial grant.

The partial grants top out for homes assessed at $1.354 million for the rest of the province, and $1.409 million for those who also quality for additional grants (listed below).

Who is eligible?

The grant is only available to Canadian citizens or permanent residents who live in B.C. and are the registered owner or eligible occupant of the residence and pay property taxes for the residence to a municipality or the province.

Homeowners may qualify for an even higher grant amount if they are:

  • A senior.
  • A veteran.
  • A person with a disability.
  • Living with a person with a disability.

You must apply for the grant each year to be eligible. More details are on the government website.