Changes to loan program will help more Nova Scotians become homeowners, says minister

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The province says the changes have been made to allow more Nova Scotians to buy a home under current market conditions. (Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press - image credit)
The province says the changes have been made to allow more Nova Scotians to buy a home under current market conditions. (Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press - image credit)

Nova Scotia has announced changes to a home down payment program that provides eligible people buying their first home with an interest-free loan of five per cent of the value of the property.

The changes include an increase in the maximum market price eligibility of the property, an increase in maximum household income eligibility and the removal of a sliding scale to provide the full five per cent loan to all applicants, said a news release issued Monday.

Municipal Affairs and Housing Minister John Lohr said the changes were made to better reflect market conditions.

"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," Lohr said in the release.

The total market value eligibility will increase across the province based on region.

Max value jumps to $500K in HRM

In the Halifax Regional Municipality, the maximum eligible value will jump to $500,000 from $300,000.

Northern and eastern regions encompassing Cumberland, Colchester, Pictou, Antigonish, Guysborough and Cape Breton will see the maximum eligible value increase to $300,000 from $200,000.

The Yarmouth region will also rise to $300,000 from $200,000.

For Annapolis Valley and the South Shore, the maximum eligible value will increase to $375,000 up from $200,000.

According to the release, total household income eligibility will climb to $145,000 up from $75,000 across the province.

The maximum down payment loan will now be $25,000 repayable over 25 years starting one month after the issuing of the loan.

Lohr said the changes will "help more people achieve the dream of home ownership."

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