City council, this week, approved a new program that would provide down payment assistance to middle income renters. The objective of the program is to free up units in our low vacancy rental market while opening the door to home ownership for some who have the financial capability of servicing a mortgage but have not yet saved the required minimum down payment.
Billed as “the first program of its kind in Canada,” the Equity Building Program will be available to those who earn too much to benefit from social housing programs. This $3-million program will provide down payment loans to home buyers earning between $45,000 and $70,000 per year, who are currently renting a home in Saskatoon. As part of the arrangement, the home buyer agrees to pay back the loan, at a low interest rate, over a five-year period of time.
City planner, Alan Wallace is quoted in a story published in the Star Phoenix on February 9. “House prices have risen dramatically. We think there are a number of households out there that are in rental situations that will find it extremely difficult to fund the down payment.
“What we’re concerned about is if incomes aren’t able to keep pace with house prices…people have a tendency to slide backwards on the housing continuum. We want them to move up.”
Interested parties can obtain full details on conditions and qualifiers from the Affinity Credit Union in Saskatoon.
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