Region of Waterloo expands eligibility for Affordable Home Ownership Program
Higher house prices have seen number of applicants for a Home Ownership plan drop
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."
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By the numbers:
Home Price 5% down
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.