Company in charge of Brooks, Alta. meat plant helps workers with housing dreams

A major beef producer in southern Alberta is helping its employees get a leg up in the housing market, offering them loans to help with down payments while also bolstering affordable housing initiatives.

JBS Foods Canada, the company that operates a meat processing plant in Brooks, Alta., has announced a $1.3 million investment to help the community’s housing market and its own employees.

The Homebuyer Dream Fund provides a $10,000 loan per eligible team member that can be used toward a down payment for a home for their family.

The money does not need to be paid back within the first 12 months and does not accrue interest.

Instead, JBS said in a release that the money is repaid through a payroll deduction over a four-year period.

“The Dream Fund addresses a critical need of our workforce by removing barriers to purchasing an affordable home in our community,” said David Colwell, president of JBS Foods Canada in a release. “We are proud to offer this opportunity to many team members who may otherwise lack necessary resources to take that first step toward homeownership.”

The investment is a one-year pilot program under JBS’ Hometown Strong initiative, a $2 million fund aimed at creating more affordable housing opportunities in Brooks.

John Petrie, the mayor of Brooks, says the company is doing its part to help boost the local economy.

“I see this as a big economic boost for the area, which would be excellent for developers and the business community from the trades up,” Petrie said.

“I appreciate what JBS Foods Canada has shown in their commitment to their employees, the City of Brooks and the surrounding area.”

In order to qualify for the loans, the employees must:

  • Commit to a minimum of two years’ of service;
  • Be in good standing with the company; and
  • Have an annual salary at or below $120,000.

All of the homes purchased through the Dream Fund must be within 75 kilometers of the Brooks meat processing plant.

More than 3,000 people work at the facility and the company supports more than 500 Alberta beef producers.

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