N.S. announces changes to down payment assistance program

John Lohr, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing.. (Communications N.S. Photo)

From a release

HALIFAX: Nova Scotia is making changes to the Down Payment Assistance Program so that more Nova Scotians have an opportunity to buy their first home.

The program provides eligible homebuyers with an interest-free repayable loan of up to five per cent of the purchase price of their first home.

“With the rising real estate prices and the increase in cost of living, home ownership has become more challenging and out of reach for many young Nova Scotian families,” said John Lohr, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. “These changes better reflect current market conditions and will help more people achieve the dream of home ownership.”

The most significant change to the program is an eligibility increase to the total maximum market value as follows:
— Halifax Regional Municipality: $500,000 (up from $300,000)
— northern and eastern regions (Cumberland, Colchester, Pictou, Antigonish, Guysborough and Cape Breton) and Yarmouth region: $300,000 (up from $200,000)
— Annapolis Valley/South Shore: $375,000 (up from $200,000).

Other changes to the program include:
— increasing the total household income eligibility to $145,000 across the province, up from $75,000
— removing the sliding scale to provide five per cent down payment to all applicants.

Under these changes, the maximum down payment interest-free loan will be $25,000, repayable over 10 years. Repayment starts one month after the loan is issued.

“From the initial launch of the program in 2017, realtors have been partners and advocates for down payment assistance. With the changing market in Nova Scotia, and the demand for housing continuing to rise, realtors are thrilled to see meaningful and impactful changes to the Down Payment Assistance Program. This program will allow more Nova Scotians to achieve their dreams of home ownership.”
     – Roger Boutilier, CEO, Nova Scotia Association of Realtors

Quick Facts:
— since the beginning of fiscal 2022-23, 13 applications have been approved under the program
— the residential average home price in Nova Scotia in May was $452,748, up from $360,181 in May 2021, an increase of 25.7 per cent (source: Nova Scotia Association of Realtors)

Additional Resources:
Eligibility criteria and program details are available at: https://housing.novascotia.ca/downpayment