BC Home Owner Mortgage and Equity Partnership

The BC Home Owner Mortgage and Equity Partnership (BC HOME Partnership) Program is now closed. The information provided here is for households who have an existing loan from the BC HOME Partnership Program.

Program Overview

Between February 2017 and September 2018, the BC Home Owner Mortgage and Equity Partnership program provided eligible home buyers a repayable down payment assistance loan that is registered on title of their home.    

While the first five years is interest and payment free, you may make additional payments or repay the loan in full at any time with no penalty.  At the beginning of the sixth year, interest will start accruing and you will begin making principal and interest payments, amortized over the remaining 20 years.  Once the loan has been repaid in full, BC Housing will discharge the mortgage from the title of the property.

In addition to voluntary, early repayments and mandatory monthly payments starting in year six, the BC HOME Partnership loan is due and payable, in full, if any of the following occur:

  1. Default on the first mortgage or the BC HOME Partnership loan.
  2. Transfer of the home or change of ownership (including addition of a person to title).
  3. The home is no longer the purchaser’s principal residence in the first five years.

For more information, please refer to the "Repaying your loan" and "FAQ" tabs.

If you have more questions, please call our office at 604-439-4727, Monday to Friday between 8:30am-4:30pm.

Repaying your loan

Early Repayment

If you wish to start optional early repayment, please complete and submit the Early Repayment Pre-Authorized Debit Agreement form.  The form must be received prior to the 15th of the month to be effective the following month.

You can make a lump sum payment or set up a monthly recurring pre-authorized debit from your bank account.

If you start early repayment, it is your responsibility to ensure that your bank account is in good standing with sufficient funds to cover the authorized PAD on the first day of each month. If a payment is returned unpaid due to Non-Sufficient Funds (NSF), early repayment will be automatically cancelled without notice. If you wish to continue early repayment, you will need to submit a new form.

Mandatory Repayment Period

The mandatory repayment period begins on the fifth anniversary of your loan. Approximately 6 months before the first mandatory payment is due, you will receive a Loan Repayment Notice from BC Housing showing the outstanding balance of your loan and the minimum monthly payment. 

If you wish to pay your BC HOME Loan off faster by increasing your monthly payment, please specify the amount you wish to pay on the Pre-Authorized Debit form that was provided with the letter notifying you of the mandatory repayment period. 

Please log in to your BC Housing Citizen Portal Account at www.mybchousing.org and upload the completed Pre-Authorized Debit form with your banking information. 

Loan Payout & Discharge

If you wish to repay your loan in full, please have your legal counsel fax a payout statement request to our office: 604-439-4729.

Once the loan has been repaid in full, BC Housing will discharge the mortgage from the title of the property.

FAQ

1. What is the BC Home Owner Mortgage and Equity Partnership Program?

The program assisted residents of British Columbia who were eligible first-time home buyers by providing repayable down payment assistance loans up to a maximum of five per cent of the purchase price.

The loan is for a 25-year term, interest and payment free for the first five years, and is registered on the title to the property as a second mortgage.

For the first five years of the loan, the home must be maintained as the owner’s principal residence.

The program stopped accepting applications on March 31, 2018

2. What is the definition of a principal residence?

Principal residence is defined as the home that is designated (and is eligible to be designated) as the owner’s principal residence for tax purposes, and where all persons registered on title live permanently (for at least six months per year) in a self-contained unit with access to all living facilities at all times to conduct their daily activities (such as cooking, sleeping and receiving mail) and is the residential address used by the persons registered on title on documentation including but not limited to identification, vehicle registration and income tax returns.

3. How do you know if the residence is being maintained as a principal residence?

During the first five years, before mandatory repayment commences, the program will send you an Annual Mortgage Statement and a Principal Residence Declaration. For each individual on the title of the property, the declaration must be signed and sent back to BC Housing along with supporting documentation.

Random audits of the residence may be conducted.

4. What is the repayment process?

At the beginning of the sixth year, interest will start accruing and the homeowner will begin making regular principal and interest payments, amortized over the remaining 20 years.

If you wish to start optional early repayment, during the first five years of the mortgage term, please complete and submit the Pre-Authorized Debit Agreement form. The form must be received prior to the 15th of the month to be effective the following month.

5. What happens if the home is no longer the homeowner’s principal residence in the first five years?

The BC HOME Partnership loan is due and payable in full.

6. What happens if the homeowner sells the property?

The BC HOME Partnership loan is due and payable in full upon sale.

7. Can an owner be removed from title, such as in the event of divorce?

Yes, provided the original loan insurance policy remains on the first mortgage. 

8. Can another owner be added to title in the future?

Additional owners may be permitted with prior consent, provided the original loan insurance policy remains on the first mortgage and all owners meet the program eligibility requirements in the first five years. 

9. Can a first mortgage be refinanced?

Refinancing of the first mortgage is not permitted unless the BC HOME Partnership loan is paid in full.

In exceptional circumstances, BC Housing may not require payment in full as long as the original mortgage insurance remains in place. Such steps must be approved by BC Housing in advance of refinancing taking place.

BC Housing may grant priority to a new lender for the transfer of the first mortgage, if there is no equity take out and no changes to the mortgage terms and conditions (transfer of mortgage will be for less than the original mortgage).

If a homebuyer wants to renew with a different lender, BC Housing will agree to grant priority to the lender under the condition that the original mortgage insurance remains in effect.  

10. Can I register another mortgage against my property?

The BC HOME Partnership loan must be paid in full and discharged from title before additional debt, including a home equity line of credit, can be registered against the property.

11. How is the BC HOME Loan interest rate calculated?

During the first five years, the loan is interest and payment free. Starting on year six, the interest rate has been set at the Royal Bank of Canada Prime Rate on the date of the original loan approval plus 0.5%.  Your interest rate for year six to ten is listed on your Loan Repayment Notice and in your mortgage documents.

12. Can I renew the interest rate at a better rate?

The interest rate for year six through ten is set can not be renegotiated. The interest rate will not change until the next 5-year mortgage period (after the tenth year of loan period).

Alternatively, you may consider refinancing with your primary lender for a lower rate and paying out your BC HOME Partnership loan balance by consolidating the total amount with your primary lender. 

If you wish to repay your loan in full, please have your legal counsel fax a payout statement request to our office at: 604-439-4729.

Once the loan has been repaid in full, BC Housing will discharge the mortgage from the title of the property.

13. What is the extra $20 charge that came out with my mortgage payment?

A service charge of $20.00 will be applied for each item returned unpaid due to Non-Sufficient Funds (NSF), account Closed, or Stop Payment.  The service charge and any outstanding or unpaid amount will be added to the next scheduled payment.  It is your responsibility to ensure that your bank account is in good standing with sufficient funds to cover the authorized payment on the first (1st) day of each month.

14. How can I change my bank account details?

To make changes to your bank account information, please complete a new Pre-Authorized Debit (PAD) Agreement and fax to 604-439-4727.

To set up a new PAD Agreement or to make changes to your existing PAD Agreement, the new PAD Agreements must be received prior to the 15th of the month to be effective the following month. For example, a PAD agreement received on January 10th will be effective February 1st, but one received on January 18th will be effective March 1st.

15. How can I update my mailing address?

You may call our office at 604-439-4727 on Monday-Friday from 8:30am-4:30pm.