How local homeowners can get government money for fix-ups

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How local homeowners can get government money for fix-ups

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Mon Nov 28, 2016 5:30 pm

How local homeowners can get government money for fix-ups
Home repairs, such as a new roof, could be covered under the Ontario renovations program - but you only have until Dec. 1 to apply.


Some municipalities across Ontario are giving away money in the form of grants and loans to low and middle income families, individuals or seniors to fix up their home or purchase one.

Those who qualify under the rules of the Ontario renovates program receive up to $10,000 for a renovation project and up to $5,000 for accessibility upgrades.

Through the home ownership program, residents can get an interest-free loan for up to 10 per cent of the purchase price of the home, repayable over 20 years.

But time is running out to fill out an application for people living in the Region of Waterloo and Haldimand and Norfolk counties.

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Success in Waterloo region

Funding for both programs comes from the federal and provincial social infrastructure fund and Investment in affordable housing programs and is available on a first come first serve basis.

Since it was launched in Waterloo Region in 2012, the Ontario renovates program has helped 178 individuals and families, contributing $2.1 million since that time says Jeff Schumacher, the supervisor of housing supply initiatives with the Waterloo Region Housing Services.

Work on homes includes either accessibility modifications or repairs to bring homes up to standards.

Bathroom renos

Traditional tubs can be difficult for people with mobility issues. Jeffrey Schumacher, the supervisor of housing supply initiatives with Waterloo Region Housing Services, says the Ontario renovates program allow funds for accessibility modification for people to remain in the homes. (Submitted photo)

"We've done a lot of lifts, ramps, chair lifts, bathroom modifications, to put in a roll in shower," says Jeff Schumacher, the supervisor of housing supply initiatives with the Waterloo Region Housing Services. "We've done quite a few roof replacements, windows, addressing mould and leaky foundations, unsafe electrical wiring and that type of thing."

Schumacher said the program gives people an opportunity to stay in their existing homeowner situation.

"Single seniors, who the only equity they have is their home. They're on CPP, old age security, and without this type of funding they would likely have to enter into a reverse mortgage or sell the home and move into an apartment," said Schumacher. " So it's allowing them to stay in their home."
Safe, affordable housing a must

Just south of the region in Norfolk and Haldimand counties, 70 families or individuals have benefitted from the Ontario renovates program since the counties launched it in 2008, said Tricia Givens, the supervisor of housing services.

"To have a safe and secure home we all know that is the basis for being successful in life," Givens said.

"When you are secure in place and you know your home is safe and affordable that enables folks to do better in their community."


Those who qualify under the rules of the Ontario renovates program receive up to $10,000 for a renovation project and up to $5,000 for accessibility upgrades.

Since it was launched in Waterloo Region in 2012, the Ontario renovates program has helped 178 individuals and families, contributing $2.1 million since that time, Schumacher said.

The Ontario renovates program started this past April in Norfolk and Haldimand counties and Givens said they still have money in the pot.

"Usually by this time of year we've run out [of money]," said Givens. " We have more money this year and people can still apply."

There is also a homeownership program. As part of that, residents can get an interest-free loan for up to 10 per cent of the purchase price of the home, repayable over 20 years.
Retaining wall



Qualifying check list

To qualify in Norfolk and Haldimand counties for either the Ontario Renovates or Home Ownership Program applicants must:

Be renting.
Be at least 18 years old.
Have a combined gross household income of $81,300 or less.
Be eligible for a mortgage and the purchase price must not exceed $268,347.

To qualify in the Region of Waterloo for Ontario Renovates your total household income falls below the following thresholds:

One person – $32,842.
Two persons – $40,886.
Three persons – $50,226.
Four persons – $61,028.
Five or more – $69,217.
You own a home that is your sole and principle residence with a market value of $360,500 or below.
Your house needs repairs or modifications in one of the following areas: structural, heating, electrical, fire safety, plumbing or accessibility.

To qualify in the Region of Waterloo for the Home Ownership Program:

Have a maximum household income of $74,865.
Be at least 18 years old and currently renting.
Not own or have an interest in a home.
Not owe money to a Community Housing landlord.
Be a legal resident of Canada.
Intend to have this home as your one and only residence.


DISCLAIMER

We believe the information contained in this article to be accurate. It is presented with the understanding that we are not engaged in rendering legal, accounting, or investment advice. When professional assistance is required, utilize the services of a licensed real estate broker, lawyer, accountant, or other consultant as may be required.

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