One in eight Canadian households do not have a decent or affordable place to live. We know we need to do more. We need to bring homeownership within reach for more members of our community.
Habitat for Humanity Wellington Dufferin Guelph is introducing an initiative to expand affordable housing availability. The innovative program supports first-time buyers in overcoming financial barriers that are preventing them from becoming homeowners. This program is aptly named Within Reach.
Within Reach is an extension of the Habitat affordable homeownership model. Through shared equity mortgages, those families that can afford conventional financing but require assistance with down payments can now access ownership. The program is available now within our Cityview Village project in Guelph. The program applies income guidelines set in the recent Federal budget.
With 28 units among three buildings, the Cityview “village” is a bright, stable and supportive community comprised of individuals and families who, with Habitat’s help, will thrive in a stable, safe and healthy environment through affordable homeownership. They will experience improved health, education and employment outcomes. And they will contribute to the well-being of the Village by providing “sweat equity” in return for the hand-up provided to them.
“This is an important initiative undertaken by our Board and staff” explains Steve Howard, CEO of Habitat WDG. “ Habitat recognized that there is a gap in the traditional way that our organization selects families for our home-ownership model, and after consulting with the Guelph & District Association of Realtors, we are proud to share our attainable housing model, which will allow more families to be Habitat partner families, contributing to one of the National Housing Strategy’s key principles, that of promoting diverse, inclusive communities by building sustainable, accessible and mixed use housing.”
“Partnership is an important part of this. Not only does this initiative support our current project, we are looking ahead to gathering community leaders and advocates of affordable housing interests in larger scale projects such as the reclamation of the IMICO site. Within Reach is foundational to supporting those organizations. It builds on other recent innovations – introduction of a deferred home ownership model for renters in partnership with the County of Wellington and a social investment model to support project financing. Plans are underway to host leaders in planning collaborative efforts using these tools.”