As the real estate bubble continues with no end in sight, Canadians are feeling the pressure – particularly in the veteran community. According to Manulife Bank’s Debt Survey, seven in 10 Canadians who do not own a home worry about saving for one. In fact, the survey showed that three quarters of Canadians want a home but can’t afford one. In the veteran community, homelessness rates are rampant, as many veterans struggle to afford a home, find veteran-friendly employment, and readjust to civilian life. One good example is the recent story of Jordan Green, a 48-year-old veteran who recently signed a lease on his first apartment after having been homeless since Canada Day. The good news is that veterans and their families are becoming much more of a focus in recent times. From a new First Time Buyers incentive to federal funding aimed at Toronto’s homeless veterans, there is help available.
Government Allocates $1.25 Billion For Its Federal First Time Buyer’s Incentive Program
Recently, the Canadian government announced its new First Time Home Buyer Program. The initiative is set to launch in July 2021, and aims to make homeownership more affordable for first-time buyers by providing an interest-free loan for up to 10 percent of a new home (or 5 percent of an existing home). To qualify, the annual household income needs to be $120,000 or less – ideal for veterans working part-time, or single-income veteran households. You can also pay back the loan at any time within 25 years, or if the home is sold.
The Popularity Of The VA Continues, Despite Disparity In Interest Rates
There is also the popular VA-backed Homeowners’ Loan for veterans looking to get on the property ladder. With lenders like Scotiabank and First National on the rota, the program has proved popular with the veteran community, helping to raise the veteran household homeownership rate to 76 percent. However, while the lower interest rates and acceptance criteria are generally seen as a plus, there can be a disparity in loan interest rates offered. Guaranteed by the Ministry of Veteran Affairs, the program can be used for mortgages or VA refinance if the veteran wants to replace their mortgage using a cash-out refinance deal. There are steps to the process, however. Veteran Affairs will need to conduct a value appraisal of the intended home, and advises that you work with a realtor specializing in veteran home loans.
Ontario Authorities Create 25 Homes For Homeless Veterans
Another way Toronto is helping veterans to become homeowners is by tackling the number of homeless veterans on its streets. It is estimated that veterans account for up to 8 percent of the homeless population in Toronto. With this in mind, the Ontario government has supplied $200,000 and 1 acre of land to build 25 small homes for homeless veterans. Using prefabricated modular housing, the homes are set to act as transitional housing while veterans secure employment in the civilian sector and improve their finances for homeownership.
Ontario has also launched its Housing Supply Action Plan in a bid to tackle the housing shortage and provide price relief – a key issue affecting the veteran community. While these are just a few commendable steps being taken to open up homeownership to veterans, it is not an overnight journey. It is, however, off to a good start.