Down Payment Assistance Programs in Canada

28 Nov, 2023

For many first-time homebuyers in Canada, accumulating sufficient funds for a down payment remains a significant obstacle to homeownership. In this comprehensive guide, Exploring Down Payment Assistance Programs for First-Time Homebuyers in Canada, we will delve into various government initiatives, non-profit organizations, and financial resources available to help eligible homebuyers overcome this challenge. The Mills Team, as your trusted mortgage partner, is committed to providing you with valuable information and guidance on these assistance programs.

This guide will cover crucial topics such as the Home Buyers’ Plan (HBP), the First-Time Home Buyer Incentive (FTHBI), provincial and municipal down payment assistance programs, and grants provided by non-profit organizations. We will also discuss the eligibility requirements and application processes for these programs, ensuring you have all the information needed to make informed decisions and access available resources.

By understanding the range of down payment assistance programs available to Canadian first-time homebuyers and working with The Mills Team, you can take advantage of these valuable resources to make homeownership a more attainable goal. Let us be your resource for expert advice, personalized support, and access to financial solutions tailored to your specific needs as a first-time homebuyer. Achieve your homeownership dreams with The Mills Team as your trusted partner throughout this exciting journey.

The Home Buyers’ Plan (HBP) – Unlocking RRSP for Down Payment

The Home Buyers’ Plan (HBP) is a well-known program that enables first-time homebuyers in Canada to access their Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) funds for a down payment. Here’s what you need to know about the HBP:

1. Maximum Withdrawal: Eligible participants can withdraw up to $35,000 from their RRSP. For couples, this means accessing up to $70,000 for a down payment.

2. Tax-free Withdrawal: The HBP withdrawal is tax-free, with a catch: you must repay the amount withdrawn from your RRSP within 15 years, starting two years after the initial withdrawal.

3. Eligibility: To qualify for HBP, you must be a first-time homebuyer or have not owned a home within the last four years. You also need a signed purchase agreement for a qualifying home.

Working with The Mills Team can help you understand the HBP’s intricacies and ensure you meet all eligibility and repayment requirements.

The First-Time Home Buyer Incentive (FTHBI) – Shared Equity Mortgage

The First-Time Home Buyer Incentive (FTHBI) is a shared equity mortgage program offered by the Government of Canada to reduce monthly mortgage payments, making homeownership more accessible. Key highlights of the FTHBI include:

1. Incentive Amount: The FTHBI provides 5% of the property’s purchase price for resale homes and 5% or 10% for new-build homes as a shared equity mortgage.

2. Interest-Free Loan: The FTHBI is an interest-free loan with no scheduled payments, requiring repayment only when you sell the home or after 25 years – whichever comes first.

3. Repayment: When you repay the FTHBI, the repayment amount is based on your property’s current market value. If your home value increased, the repayment amount would be higher; if the value decreased, you’d repay a lower amount.

The Mills Team can guide you through the FTHBI application process and help evaluate whether this program is suitable for you.

Provincial and Municipal Down Payment Assistance Programs

Various provincial and municipal programs are designed to support first-time homebuyers with down payment assistance. Examples of such programs include:

1. British Columbia Home Owner Mortgage and Equity (HOME) Partnership Program: This program provides qualified first-time homebuyers with an interest-free loan of up to 5% of the property’s purchase price to assist with the down payment.

2. Manitoba Home Buyer Down Payment Assistance Program (HBDAP): Offering forgivable loans for down payment assistance up to $15,000 in Winnipeg and up to $10,000 in rural Manitoba. Eligible participants must complete a Homebuyer Education Seminar.

Partnering with The Mills Team can help you identify any provincial or municipal down payment assistance programs in your area.

Grants from Non-Profit Organizations

Some non-profit organizations offer down payment assistance grants to eligible Canadians. These programs vary in eligibility requirements and application processes. Examples include:

1. Options for Homes: This non-profit developer offers down payment assistance through shared appreciation loans as part of their affordable housing program for first-time homebuyers in select Canadian cities.

2. Habitat for Humanity: The well-known non-profit organization not only builds affordable housing but also offers interest-free mortgages with no down payment requirements for eligible low-income families.

The Mills Team can connect you with suitable non-profit organizations offering down payment assistance grants.


First-time homebuyers in Canada seeking down payment assistance have several resources available to help make homeownership more attainable. By understanding and leveraging programs like the Home Buyers’ Plan, First-Time Home Buyer Incentive, provincial and municipal down payment assistance programs, and grants from non-profit organizations, you can take a significant step towards achieving your dream of homeownership. With The Mills Team as your trusted mortgage partner, you gain access to expert guidance, industry insights, and personalized support to navigate these programs successfully and secure the resources best suited to your needs. Embark on your homeownership journey with confidence and the invaluable support of The Mills Team.

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