Provincial government now administering homeowner grant program

Homeowner grant changes

This year the B.C. government is taking over the application process of the homeowner grant program, promising to make the system easier and faster than when municipalities previously managed it

"By administering the grant centrally, we'll make the process simpler for people and less of a burden for local governments," says Selina Robinson, Minister of Finance. "With this change, we can provide all British Columbians a secure online application and access to services, such as phone-based support, while removing the need for them to go to their municipal office."

Until now, local governments administered the program in municipalities and the Province administered the rural grant program. During provincial budget deliberations, municipalities expressed to the government that administration of the yearly grant program was a burden.

"For decades, the homeowner grant was successfully administered through a partnership between the Province and local government partners, but as the program grew, it became a larger responsibility for our municipal partners," says Josie Osborne, Minister of Municipal Affairs.

"Streamlining this program will allow municipalities to focus on other critical municipal services that people rely on," she adds.

B.C. properties assessed at $1.625 million or less will eligible for the full provincial homeowners grant in 2021.

The grant amount for taxpayers in the Interior in 2021 is set at up to $770, and up to $1,045 for homes in northern or rural areas where the homeowner is 65 or older, or is a person with a disability.

Tax notices will continue to be sent by municipalities but will include a link to the Province's online grant application. Homeowners should apply once they receive their property tax notice. If they have not yet applied for their 2020 grant, they can do so retroactively here.

Homeowners can ask questions about the program and get help applying with a call centre agent by calling 1-888-355-2700 (toll-free) from Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Pacific time), excluding statutory holidays.

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