Peel councillors this week wisely decided against bringing back the region’s homebuyer loan program first introduced in 2008 but suspended indefinitely last year. Under that program which worked when the average cost of a home was in the $300,000 range, a maximum of $20,000 was available to eligible low- and moderate-income first-time homebuyers. But today given that it is virtually impossible to find properties in that range the program would have to up the amount given toward a downpayment, this is what weighed on the minds of councillors who decided it was not financially viable.
Councillors now believe that the $1.2 million allocated for the 2017 program could be re-deployed into the plan to increase the affordable housing stock given that the wait-list has grown over the months and affordable housing has been scarce.
But here’s the rub: the current cost of owning a home has gone way beyond the means of the average middle-class and many new immigrants pouring into the city. It is clear that the lack of affordable housing affects not only those with limited means or the disabled, but even middle-class residents earning a modest income.
The ranks of the working poor is growing and unfortunately they are in the classic Catch-22 situation, they cannot afford to buy in this market and can barely keep up with the rent. And their modest paycheck disqualifies them from applying for affordable housing. – CINEWS