Nova Scotians struggling to save for a down payment for their first home could soon get an interest-free loan from Housing Nova Scotia. The provincial and federal governments are investing $1.3 million to fund a new one-year Down Payment Assistance Program.
The program is designed to help modest-income Nova Scotians who are pre-approved for an insured mortgage from an accredited lender, but struggle to save for the required down payment because of their income. First-time homebuyers will be eligible for an interest-free loan of up to five per cent of the purchase price of a new or existing home, to a maximum price of $280,000 in Halifax Regional Municipality (HRM) and $150,000 in the rest of the province.
To be eligible, applicants must have a total household income of $75,000 or less. Based on a sliding scale of income and house purchase price, the loans can range from up to $14,000 in HRM or up to $7,500 elsewhere in the province. Eligible homebuyers will have 10 years to repay the loan. Payments can be waived for the first year to allow new homeowners to adjust to any unforeseen costs.
“This is welcome news for first-time homebuyers,” says Anne DaSilva, president of the Nova Scotia Association of Realtors. “This program will stimulate real estate activities, which have a positive impact on the Nova Scotia economy.”
It’s expected that the pilot program will help between 100 and 125 households.
Applications are available at Housing Nova Scotia’s regional offices or online at https://housing.novascotia.ca/downpayment.