Saskatchewan Housing Corporation (SHC) Affordable Homeownership at Different Scales presented to Canadian Housing and Renewal Association’s Annual Congress Don Allen, President May 2, 2013 Ottawa
Affordable Homeownership • Recognized as an important part of housing continuum in Saskatchewan’s Housing Strategy • Consulted with hundreds of organizations and individuals • One of the common themes: “One size does not fit all”
Saskatchewan’s Home Ownership Approach • Multiple programs each with different focus • Builders (e.g. HeadStart on a Home) • Owners (e.g. Secondary Suites for both new construction and retrofit; Habitat for Humanity) • Municipalities (e.g. Affordable Homeownership Program) • All support new construction or conversion from non-residential to residential use
Affordable Homeownership Program (AHOP) • One program but not a one size fits all program • Municipalities design the program that works for them • Province limits its financial contribution based upon cost matching • Province targets to incomes below a certain amount (currently $66,500)
AHOP Examples of Different Municipal Designs • Discounted prices on municipally owned land • One-time cash grants • Property tax abatements • Any of the above • Provincial funding is a grant; no requirement to pay back.
AHOP Results • Have committed $3.8 million in provincial funding for 800 units • 7 communities have applied for and been approved for funding • Saskatoon is the largest participating community, was first with a program and has been the most active • 145 units completed so far
Challenges with AHOP • Municipal capacity • Very helpful for municipalities already moving in this direction • More challenging for those just beginning on a new home owner program • Some municipalities didn’t increase the benefit to the client
Conclusion • As part of 5 year housing plan, including all homeownership programs since March 2011 • Have committed to 2,134 units as part of a 5 year plan • 586 are under construction • 458 have been completed of which 420 are occupied • Partnerships work, flexibility is key