By: Brian Horwitz 
As we all know and now more than ever, affordable housing seems to be a prominent concern. Not everyone has the equity, financial backing from family or savings for a down payment and ever since the housing crash of 2008, it has become much more challenging for buyers to get approved for a mortgage.
BC developers, this is a call out to you on how you can make a difference by providing more affordable homeownership in this time of need.
Let’s take a look at a relatively new program, created by the Province of British Columbia through BC Housing, called HousingHub. Established in 2018, HousingHub focuses on creating partnerships with the development industry to facilitate the creation of new affordable rental housing and homeownership options for middle-income British Columbians.
One of the programs offered under HousingHub is called the Affordable Homeownership Program. This program provides low-cost construction loans and facilitates partnerships between developers and municipalities in order to create savings. These savings are then offered as a no payment, no interest second position mortgage to eligible homebuyers. 
The Affordable Homeownership Program offers eligible middle-income individuals and families with an opportunity to purchase new homes between 5 to 20 percent below market value. Buyers don’t need to put as much money down and their monthly mortgage payments can be lower than in a typical home purchase situation with the same purchaser’s down payment. The construction loans are repaid once construction is complete, allowing HousingHub to reinvest in additional housing.
As part of the approval process for a proposal under the Affordable Homeownership Program, a Memorandum of Understanding between the municipality and BC Housing is created. This Memorandum of Understanding is an agreement between BC Housing and the municipality, laying out the terms for the support that will be provided to the project. 
Municipalities buy into this program by providing assistance to the project in the form of municipal contributions that could be in the form of relaxations, easing density restrictions, a streamlined process, deferment of fees or anything else that helps lower the cost of the project.  
Once this formal agreement is in place between BC Housing and the municipality, a three-way Project Partnering Agreement is formed between BC Housing, the municipality and the developer, outlining the details of the specific project.
As part of Budget 2021, the Province of British Columbia increased HousingHub’s borrowing capacity to $2.8 billion, which will increase the number of homes built for middle-income households over the 10-year lifespan of the program.
The funding and support networks are in place. BC developers, you have the opportunity to make a difference. Through HousingHub, and with the support from our municipalities, there is great potential for you to access this provincially financed program, giving hope to middle-income earners who just can’t seem to get into the market as homeowners.
For more information on HousingHub and how the Affordable Homeownership Program works go to 
MLS® property information is provided under copyright© by the Vancouver Island Real Estate Board and Victoria Real Estate Board. The information is from sources deemed reliable, but should not be relied upon without independent verification.