Saskatchewan Minister of Social Services Lori Carr announced the renewal of an initiative to boost northern home ownership on Thursday.
Residents of northern Saskatchewan who live in social housing have the opportunity to become homeowners through the Northern Homeownership Initiative (NHOI).
The initiative allows residents of selected northern communities who live in social housing to buy their homes from the Saskatchewan Housing Corporation (SHC).
“Owning a home is a major milestone that helps people build stronger roots in their communities,” Carr said.
“Home ownership also helps build financial stability, offers more independence and strengthens the homeowner’s future.
“I encourage residents of northern Saskatchewan to look into the Northern Homeownership Initiative and consider purchasing a home to call their own.”
The NHOI was developed to help increase home ownership in northern communities where the demand for housing is high but housing options are limited.
Homes are for sale in Northern Saskatchewan Administration District (NSAD) communities that have limited housing options.
This initiative is not available in La Ronge, Air Ronge, Creighton or Denare Beach, as these communities have active housing markets.
Ten of the 50 homes available to buy through the initiative have already been sold.
The selling price of each home is decided by an independent appraisal and is sold at market value. Funds from the sale of the homes are then put toward new housing developments in the north.
Northern residents may be able to purchase a home if they have been a tenant of an SHC-owned rental unit for at least one year, have stable income, want to build equity in a home, qualify for a loan and are able to make a down payment.
In many northern communities, social housing tenants with higher incomes have limited or no private market options for homeownership. Many are unable to move out of their rental units in order to make room for households with lower incomes.
Only existing tenants will be eligible to purchase the units at fair value and no tenants will be forced to move should they choose not to exercise the option.
The sale of these units aims to provide an opportunity for existing clients who no longer require social housing to transition to homeownership.
The province said sales will promote a viable housing market in northern communities and not devalue private properties currently on the market.
To learn if the NHOI is available in your community you can call your local housing authority or Saskatchewan Housing Corporation at 1-866-245-5758.