Meridian Credit Union and Habitat for Humanity Guelph Wellington are Partnering to Help Provide Affordable Homeownership
With the rising price of housing, and the escalating cost of building materials and labour, Habitat for Humanity Guelph Wellington (Habitat GW) is continuously exploring new strategies to provide sustainable and affordable homeownership. Now, with the help of Meridian Credit Union, Habitat GW can expand its impact to more families.
“Family financing is integral to Habitat GW’s efforts to make affordable homeownership in reach for more families, but it requires vision and leadership to make this non-traditional approach work”, said Kathryn Stokes, Manager of Housing Partnerships with Habitat for Humanity Guelph Wellington. “In Meridian, we have a partner that understands what is needed.”
This dynamic partnership begins with Habitat GW’s Garafraxa Village Project in Fergus, Ontario. Meridian is coming on board as a partner in financing, to provide families’ first mortgage which establishes long-term, affordable payments at market interest rates, and favourable downpayment options. At the same time, Habitat GW will hold the remaining second mortgage at 0% interest for 20 years. It’s this mortgage split that bridges the gap to affordable homeownership and allows families to build equity and shared appreciation in their homes.
Not only is Meridian providing this support to Habitat GW’s partner families, but Meridian is also working to help all people through their Meridian for Good Strategy. This initiative helps to provide access to money and financial advice to allow individuals to live a more resilient and financially confident life.
Through this agreement, Habitat GW will be able to provide access to homeownership to over 20 families in Fergus in Garafraxa Village, and 50-100 more families over the next two years in the Guelph Wellington area. With partnerships like this in place, Habitat GW is expanding its vision for what is possible in affordable housing – to grow as an affiliate and to create new opportunities in the local housing mix.
Habitat homeownership is designed to serve a wide range of people. “We are looking for individuals who want to partner with Habitat for Humanity Guelph Wellington, and cannot achieve conventional homeownership on their own”, said Kathryn Stokes, Manager of Housing Partnerships with Habitat for Humanity Guelph Wellington. “We encourage all individuals to apply”.
To qualify for Habitat GW’s Homeownership Program families must be in need of safe, suitable, or affordable housing, must have the ability to pay a mortgage, and a willingness to partner through volunteerism. Family income must fall within the Provincial Policy Statement for affordable housing and affiliate guidelines which provide for household income thresholds of $64,500 to $113,000, have responsible debt management, adequate savings for closing costs, and no current bankruptcies or consumer proposals. To apply for the affordable homeownership program, fill out the Eligibility Questionnaire today: www.habitatgw.ca/apply.