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B.C. city promising select new homeowners up to 75% of their down payment

The city has earmarked $3 million in grants to help 250 families buy homes
Langford developers have contributed to the city’s affordable housing fund with every rezoning request over the last five years. (Black Press Media file photo)

The struggle to become a new homeowner may have found a Sugar Daddy in Victoria suburb.

How does a grant that will pay up to 75 per cent of the cost of a down payment sound to you?

The city of Langford has announced a new program that will gift established residents of Langford a portion of their down payment costs, through funds collected from developers over the past five years as a condition of rezoning.

By imposing additional rezoning fees on every Langford developer over the last five years, Langford Mayor Stewart Young said the city was able to earmark $3 million towards their affordable housing fund, which will assist 250 families in buying those finished homes.

“This program comes at the height of a major housing crisis across the region and will assist those Langford families who could afford a mortgage payment but are struggling to save the amount necessary for a downpayment,” Young explained in a statement.

Households of at least two people having lived in Langford for at least two years, earning less than $125,000 combined gross annual income, without real estate or more $50,000 in assets, and who qualify for pre-mortgage approval will be able to apply for the program. Funds gifted from the program can reach up to 75 per cent of the downpayment on a two-bedroom condo not exceeding $450,000.

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“We ran this by the developers’ association and they’re supportive of it,” Young told Black Press Media. “They recognize that if they want to continue building in Langford, they have to contribute to affordable housing … we know that the more we build, the cheaper it will be.”

The idea for the program came about after Langford council observed a rental housing boom as a result of the increasing purchase prices of homes over the last 15 years.

“There’s been a lot of rentals being built because (Langford residents) don’t have the downpayment, and that was impeding owning a home,” Young continued. “We want to get a supply of condos and townhomes that are built so people can take ownership rather than just having a rental stock. We really like the idea of pride in homeownership, and we want to make sure that everybody in Langford has an opportunity to be a homeowner.”

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