Buying a condo in Langford? BC City offers down payment help for first time buyers

The new program uses some of the fees that the city of Vancouver Island charges developers to help 250 qualified buyers purchase a condo valued at $ 450,000 or less.

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LANGFORD – The City of Langford, in the Victoria area, is offering a helping hand to those who dream of owning their own home by providing a five percent down payment on their purchase.


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Langford is facing a housing affordability crisis like almost every other community in Canada, says Mayor Stew Young, but the city is taking advantage of the fees it charges developers to build there and is using the money to help first-time buyers. with a down payment.

The program was announced on October 19, seeking expressions of interest from those hoping to buy their own homes when the process goes live in January.

In the first 24 hours, the city had heard from more than 200 families interested in participating in the program, Young said.

The Affordable Homeownership Program will provide a maximum of 75 percent of the five percent down payment required for a two-bedroom condo valued at $ 450,000 in Langford, he said.

The program aims to help up to 250 qualified buyers to purchase a condo in the city valued at $ 450,000 or less, Young said in a recent interview.


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The grants, which will be provided on a sliding scale based on gross annual household income of $ 125,000 or less, could go up to a maximum of $ 17,500, he said.

A condo project under construction in Langford on October 22, 2021.
A condo project under construction in Langford on October 22, 2021. Photo by Chad Hipolito /The Canadian Press

“We’re saying, ‘Look, times are tough for a lot of people and housing is very expensive, so we can do the condo or townhome market,” Young said. “If you live in Langford, we want you to own a home. We want you to put your roots in our community ”.

Applicants must have lived in Langford for the past two years, they will need pre-approval of the mortgage at the purchase price, and no qualifying family member can own other real estate.

Young said qualifying families can also contribute up to $ 50,000 in cash or assets toward the down payment, in addition to the city’s maximum grant of $ 17,500.


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Single-family homes in Langford have a median asking price of $ 900,000, but condos could be affordable for families who rent and want to buy but can’t afford the down payment, he said.

“All of this is to really help people get out of the rental cycle and buy a home of their own and get some equity built up for themselves, their family and the future,” Young said.

The city has created a $ 3 million fund to contribute to the down payment plan, he said.

Statistics from British Columbia show that Langford was the fastest growing city in the province in 2020, with a population of 44,069. In 1996, Langford’s population was approximately 18,000.

Young said the city is considering plans to increase the density of its center, which includes proposals to build several residential condo towers ranging from 18 to 24 stories.


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The area is primarily single-family homes that were built as early as the 1950s.

A spokesperson for the Canadian Association of Home Builders of British Columbia said that Canadian municipalities could play an important role in alleviating the housing affordability crisis.

John Drazic said city governments are responsible for rezoning applications, building permits and other approval processes that can speed up or slow down developments.

“Where Langford has been a clear trendsetter is really finding ways to be a progressive municipality by demonstrating a path of leadership by doing very streamlined processes for builders and developers to build in Langford,” he said in an interview.

Statistics show that Langford was the fastest growing city in BC in 2020, with a population of 44,069.
Statistics show that Langford was the fastest growing city in BC in 2020, with a population of 44,069. Photo by Chad Hipolito /The Canadian Pres

The Down Payment Grant is an example of ground-level approaches that can meet the needs of residents who want to buy homes in their communities, Drazic said.


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“This is an approach, and I really hope it resonates with other municipalities, not just on Vancouver Island, but across the province and Canada, to see where they can take effective action on it,” he said.

Tim Allen, a retired Langford resident, said the prospect of helping people with down payments shows creative thinking on the part of city government, but there are local concerns about overbuilding.

“Really, development is more than just building homes,” said Allen, who was part of a group of residents concerned about the reduction of space in parks near housing projects. “You have to provide all kinds of recreation and services, and parts of those services are, of course, green spaces. It’s not just the hockey rinks. “

Langford’s official community plan calls for 40 percent open space in development projects, which could be reduced to 25 percent if the development has benefits for the community, such as affordable housing.

Ron Coutre, president of the Langford West Shore Developers Association, said developers pay a high price to build in Langford, but the process is streamlined and results-oriented.

“This is, once again, another innovative way they have devised to put cash in the pockets of people who need help to pay for their first home,” he said.



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