Today, the Government of Canada released their 2020 Fall Economic Statement which included some very good news for Ontario home owners, buyers, sellers, and REALTORS®.
Here are the main highlights:
The First-Time Home Buyer Incentive
The government is expanding the First-Time Home Buyer Incentive to enhance eligibility in Toronto.
To help people in Toronto buy a house, the federal government is expanding the program to be available to eligible buyers to purchase a home up to 4.5 times their household income, an increase from the current limit of 4 times household income.
Additionally, the eligible buyer’s income threshold is being raised from $120,000 to $150,000 for Toronto, Vancouver and Victoria. These changes will come into effect in the spring of 2021.
With a minimum down payment, this targeted expansion will raise the maximum house price for eligible first-time home buyers in these cities from about $505,000 – the current program parameters – to about $722,000.
Home Energy Retrofits & Assessments
The government is proposing to provide $2.6 billion over 7 years, starting in 2020-21, to Natural Resources Canada to help homeowners improve their home energy efficiency by providing up to 700,000 grants of up to $5,000 to help homeowners make energy-efficient improvements to their homes, up to one million free EnerGuide energy assessments, and support to recruit and train EnerGuide energy auditors to meet increased demand.
Additional information on home energy efficiency grants will be provided in a future announcement, and eligibility for these grants will be retroactive to December 1, 2020.
The government also recognizes that homeowners and landlords need to be able to access simple and affordable financing to make deeper home energy retrofits. Over the coming months the government will outline details of a low-cost loan program that integrates and builds on available energy audits and grants, and which can be easily accessed by Canadians.
Extending the Application Deadline for CEBA
The government is extending the application deadline for the Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) to March 31, 2021.
CEBA provides an interest-free loan to small businesses of up to $40,000, with up to $10,000 being forgivable if the loan is paid back by December 31, 2022. The CEBA program will also soon be expanded, allowing eligible businesses to access an additional interest-free $20,000 loan where it is needed.
This is very good news with several wins for the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) and REALTORS®.
Here in Ontario, this provides OREA with an opportunity to push Queen’s Park to align with federal programs to give more benefits to Ontario home owners – especially on green home energy retrofits.
CREA and OREA will relay more information to Members and Member Boards when it becomes available.
Please reach out to myself or a member of the GR team with any questions.
Matthew Thornton Vice President, Public Affairs & Communications