A new loan program for newcomers to the North Okanagan will make adjusting to life in the area a little easier.
The Community Futures North Okanagan program offers loans of up to $25,000 for eligible new residents to build their lives here.
The program comes as inflation and the rising cost of housing puts more pressure on families that move to the region.
“We know that housing is expensive and difficult to find. With inflation and the rising cost of living, it isn’t easy for newcomers to move here. With this new program, we can help make that move possible,” says Scot McNair, loans co-ordinator and business analyst with CFNO.
Open to Canadian citizens and permanent residents, loans can range from $2,500 to $25,000 and be used for employment-related costs, housing, or education.
Applicants can put the funds towards a rental deposit, vehicle, work or school equipment, winter clothing, furniture, food staples and housing supplies among other needs to help them settle into their new home.
While separate from the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot, which brings skilled workers to the North Okanagan and Shuswap and provides a fast track to permanent residency, the newcomers loans can help support those families that choose to make Canada their home.
“We saw the need and knew we had to find a way to help people get settled here,” says McNair.
“This is one way that we can be proactive and move the dial to make our community more accessible and help drive growth in the North Okanagan.”
Applications for the newcomers loan program are now open.