In order to bolster the accessibility of affordable homes, Waterloo homeowners may now borrow up to $25,000 from the region to create affordable secondary apartments in their homes, as reported by CBC News.

Housing Programs Initiative Supervisor Jeff Schumacher said that the project, which was referred to as “secondary suites program,” offers the funding through a loan. The program is a part of the Ontario Renovates initiative, which allows homeowners to do repairs and changes to their homes by offering loans.

"Our community here, we have very low vacancy rates, and whatever we can do to help address the rental needs in the community, we should be doing," he said.

It was also clear by the mechanics of the loan that one of the government’s priorities was to provide affordable housing units. To be eligible for the money, the unit must be leased out at below average market rent.

"The loan is for 15 years, and each year, the homeowner would need to provide verification of the rent. We also have an in-going income limit, so that these units are rented at an affordable rate to lower income households or individuals," Schumacher explained

Each year, Waterloo has a total budget of $300,000. If a homeowner applies for a loan and was successful, but there is no adequate budget left for the specific year, he or she is automatically included in the next year's allocation.

Finally, it’s worth noting that homeowners who have an in-law suite or an illegal apartment could use the loan to legalize the unit.

 

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