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Manitoba Metis First Time Home Buyers Purchase Program

Recently, the Manitoba Metis Federation announced the launch of the Metis First Time Home Purchase Program (FTHPP), which is to be implemented and managed by the Louis Riel Capital Corporation (LRCC) starting in the spring of 2019.

The FTHPP is designed to help Metis citizens overcome the challenge of trying to save sufficient enough funds for a down payment, as required by financial institutions, for their first home. Funding will be provided by way of a grant/forgivable loan as follows:

  • 5% of the home purchase price to a maximum of $15,000 towards the first time homeowners’ down payment
  • 5% of the mortgage amount to a maximum of $2500 towards related closing costs (legal fees, land transfer, home inspection, etc).

Eligibility

Eligibility requirements in order to qualify for the program include:

  • Applicant(s) must be residing in Manitoba for a minimum of six months;
  • Must provide proof of Metis citizenship with their application;
  • Must be 18 years of age or older;
  • Must be able to qualify for and obtain a mortgage from a mainstream or known financial institution;
  • Priority will be given to those who are currently residing in social housing, and families escaping situations of abuse or violence;
  • The forgivable loan amount must be registered on the title in second position at the applicants cost;
  • The home being purchased must be for the applicant’s primary residence – rental homes will not be permitted;
  • Applicant must not have ever owned a home;
  • Applicants must not have ownership in any real estate (including land) with a market value of more than $7,500;
  • Family gross (pre-tax) income must be below $85,000;
  • Applicants must have current combined liquid assets of less than $10,000.

If the home was purchased prior to approval of FTHPP being provided, that purchase will be deemed ineligible for support. Additionally, the FTHPP cannot be applied to a home that has already been purchased.

Eligible Types of Homes

  • Newly constructed homes with new home warranty;
    • NOTE – Deposits on new builds will not be funded and must be completed within a reasonable timeframe at the discretion of MMF/FTHPP.
  • Resale market homes, single family, side by side, townhouses, condominiums, multi-unit;
  • Ready to Move Homes (RTMs) on permanent foundations;
  • Conversions from non-residential use, that feature a new home warranty;
  • Mobile homes on owned land, on a permanent foundation anchored to the property and acceptable to a financial institution for mortgage financing purposes;
  • Homes are not to exceed the maximum house price for their geographic area.

Ineligible Types of Homes

  • Homes located in life-lease communities;
  • Homes on leased or rented land;
  • Mobile homes in trailer parks.

 Terms of the Grant/Loan

The amount granted to the homeowner is provided in the form of an interest free forgivable loan (through a secure promissory note). The loan will be registered as a second mortgage against the property with the financial institution providing the mortgage being registered as the first mortgage. Provided that the applicant has maintained ownership and occupancy throughout a ten-year period (commencing on the date of possession), the loan will be forgiven. However, expenses and costs associated with discharging the mortgage from the title of the property will be at the homeowner’s expense. If the homeowner is unable to fulfill the 10 year homeownership and occupancy requirement, then the entire principal sum of the loan would become due and payable.

The following conditions, while not inclusive, may trigger a default of the terms and conditions of the FTHPP resulting in a requirement to repay the principal sum of the loan:

  • The applicant(s) sells the property;
  • The applicant(s) ceases to occupy the property as a primary residence;
  • LRCC determines that any portion of the advance loan was not used for its intended purpose as outlined in the terms & conditions in the Letter of Commitment which is provided;
  • The applicant(s) defaults on the first mortgage and the financial institution proceeds with foreclosure or power of sale;
  • The applicant(s) misrepresents themselves or the information disclosed on the application or fails to provide information required for the FTHPP.

If the property is sold but another property is purchased, the MMF and/or the LRCC may, at their sole discretion, exercise their right to permit that the loan is paid off by the proceeds of the sale of the home or allow for the loan to be transferred to the new home, registered again as a second mortgage, in order to allow the homeowner to fulfill their 10-year requirement.

Approval Process

Application to the FTHPP program should be made prior to an offer being placed on a property. The information provided will be vetted by the LRCC and includes an assessment of the applicant’s eligibility for the program as well as their ability to qualify and debt service a new mortgage.

Once approved, prior to funds being disbursed, the LRCC will require evidence of the following:

  • An independent or EMILI appraisal acceptable to Canada Mortgage Housing Corporation (CMHC) and / or the financial institution providing the first mortgage, assuming one is available;
  • An authorized bank approval form or letter as evidence of first mortgage financing;
  • A copy of an accepted offer of purchase satisfying all conditions including first mortgage financing.

The funds will not be sent to the applicant directly but will instead be sent to the applicant’s real estate lawyer to be held in trust pending completion of the transaction. The lawyer will also at this point receive instructions to register the loan in second position against the property behind the financial institution’s first mortgage.

A full description of the eligibility requirements as well as the terms and conditions of the program can be found by accessing the FTHPP Guidelines: https://www.lrcc.mb.ca/wcm-docs/docs/applications/mmf_first_time_home_purchase_program_-_guidelines.pdf

More information on the FTHPP, including a link to the application, can be found on the Louis Riel Capital Corporation website: https://www.lrcc.mb.ca/first-time-home-buyers-purchase-program

Notice: The articles on our website are provided for general information purposes only and should not be relied upon as legal advice or opinion. They reflect the current state of the law as at the date of posting on the website, and are subject to change without notice. If you require legal advice or opinion, we would be pleased to provide you with our assistance on any of the issues raised in these articles.

 
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