Kitchener-Waterloo

Region of Waterloo expands eligibility for Affordable Home Ownership Program

A slump in applications has prompted the Region of Waterloo to change eligibility criteria for its Affordable Home Ownership Program, meaning more people can apply for a down payment loan.

Higher house prices have seen number of applicants for a Home Ownership plan drop

If your household income is less than $90,500 and you're hunting for a place to call 'home sweet home,' the Region of Waterloo is willing to loan up to five per cent of the purchase price of a new home, to help afford the down payment. (Steven Senne/Associated Press)

A slump in applications has prompted the Region of Waterloo to change eligibility criteria for its Affordable Home Ownership Program. 

The Affordable Home Ownership Program is a loan program that provides up to 5 per of the cost of a home for people to use as a down payment.

On average, the Region of Waterloo grants 40 to 50 loans a year, but so far this year there have been only 20 successful applicants.

Previously, the program was open to people with a household income up to $74,865, to buy a home worth up to $275,000. Both those amounts have now increased to better reflect the existing real estate climate; the maximum household income is now $90,500 and maximum home value is $386,000.

The housing market

"We're hearing this from real estate agents and people that we approved under the program that at $275,000 they couldn't find anything that met their needs," said Jeffrey Schumacher, supervisor of housing supply initiatives with the Region of Waterloo.

"There are only 31 three-bedroom plus homes on the whole market. [There were ] mostly one or two bedroom condos.  People wanted townhomes or a small starter home."

By the numbers:

Home Price          5% down
$200,000               $10,000
$225,000               $11,000
$250,000               $12,500
$275,000               $13,750
$300,000               $15,000
$350,000               $17,500
$386,000               $19,300

There are a number of criteria for applications, including:

  • Qualify for a mortgage.
  • Have a maximum household income of $90,500.
  • Be at least 18 years old and currently renting.
  • Not own or have an interest in a home.
  • Not owe money to a community housing landlord. 
  • Be a legal resident of Canada.
  • Intend to have this home as your one and only residence

And the home must be: 

  • Located in the Region of Waterloo.
  • A maximum purchase price of $386,000.
  • Approved by the Region of Waterloo.​

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