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Writer-s-Bloc

Helping home buyers

By Greg Kyllo

It’s a heady feeling, receiving the keys to your very own home.

I remember feeling a deep sense of pride and of belonging to our community when I first became a homeowner; for me, it was the fulfilment of a long-held dream.

It’s a dream that I believe should always be attainable for British Columbians, and our B.C. Liberal government shares my conviction.

One of the most difficult parts of making that dream a reality is conquering the first step: saving enough for a down payment.

In light of this fact, we announced a new program in December through which we will partner with first-time homebuyers to help them make that first down payment on their mortgage.

Through the B.C. Home Owner Mortgage and Equity (HOME) Partnership program, we will provide up to $37,500 or up to five per cent of the purchase price with a 25-year loan that is interest-free and payment-free for the first five years.

Any first-time buyer who has been a Canadian citizen or permanent resident for at least five years, has lived in B.C. for at least a year and meets the eligibility criteria can apply.

These criteria include:

  • a gross household income not exceeding $150,000
  • pre-approval for a mortgage
  • a down payment amount at least equal to the loan amount

That means if you have saved $10,000 toward a $400,000 home, we will match that amount so your down payment totals $20,000, or five per cent of the purchase price, as required by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation.

If you’re eligible, you can apply starting Jan. 16. I hope to see many residents of our communities among the 42,000 households we expect this program to help in the three years it will run.

In addition to the B.C. HOME Partnership, the government has also taken action to stimulate the supply of new housing in B.C., and we’ve made record investments in affordable, emergency and transitional housing.

We’ve done this because we believe that a safe place to call home is something that every British Columbian should have, and because we want to make sure our communities are welcoming, inclusive places.

I’m grateful we have so many like-minded people here in the Shuswap who also want to make life better for their neighbours.

I’d like to start the New Year off by thanking all our community organizations that give so generously of their time and resources to help those in need throughout the year and who worked especially hard during the holiday season.

I look forward to continuing to work hard with all of you this year, to make our province and our communities the best they can be. 

Greg Kyllo is MLA for Shuswap.

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Welcome to Writer’s Bloc, an opinion column for guest writers to share their experiences and viewpoints with our readers.

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