On Wednesday, Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante announced a new program which would help more Montrealers attain homeownership.
While the city’s low unemployment rates and booming economy is a good thing for most residents, it has caused housing prices to slip out of reach for many young families.
Tightening measures in the mortgage application process have also made it increasingly difficult to attain homeownership.
“That’s why we have gone ahead with the creation of a program to support residential acquisition, for which we are setting aside an annual budget of $21.2 million,” Plante confirmed in her announcement.
“We are confident that the increase in financial aid under the program to support residential acquisition as well as the creation of new residential projects will have a significant impact on buying intentions of families in Montreal.”
More details on the program, including how to access it, will be disclosed shortly. It will only be possible to apply for the program as of June 1.
This program comes among several other measures included by Québec’s Minister of Finance in the 2018-2019 budget, intended to bridge the province’s historically low homeownership rates. At a homeownership rate of 61.3%, Quebec is well below the national average of 67.8% (2016 Census).
The latest measures include:
A non-refundable tax credit for first-time homebuyers
The Quebec Federation of Real Estate Boards (QFREB) has been pushing over the past several years for an abolition of the “Welcome Tax,” – a real estate transfer tax upon purchase, for first time homebuyers. The budget responded to this request by implementing a tax credit on the purchase of a first home, which refunds the welcome tax for certain buyers.
Extension of the RénoVert program
The QFREB was pleased to see the RénoVert program renewed for the third time in Quebec’s budget. This program provides a tax credit to homeowners interested in renovating their home, providing they enter into an agreement with a recognized contractor.
Financial aid for homeowners impacted by dry rot fungus
Financial assistance will now be available for households struggling with dry rot fungus in their homes. The Québec Economic Plan has set aside an investment of $5 million for the implementation of the new residential response program, which will span over 3 years. Decontamination of dry rot fungus is an enormously expensive process which debilitates several Montreal homeowners each year.
The budget includes an investment in the RénoRégion program, which assists modest-income rural homeowners struggling to keep up with the cost of major home defects.
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