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Yukon Housing updates its loan programs

Yukon Housing has updated its various financing and loan programs. The biggest changes are to the department's home repair and rental repair programs.

Yukon Housing has updated its various financing and loan programs.

The biggest changes are to the department’s home repair and rental repair programs.

The maximum homeowners can borrow from Yukon Housing to improve safety, address accessibility or improve a home’s energy efficiency has increased to $50,000 from $35,000.

The maximum landlords can borrow to repair rental units has jumped to $35,000 from $25,000.

“Essentially I think it allows more freedom to do the repairs that you need to do. I think people were wanting to and have more significant repairs to do,” said Chris Milne, acting vice president of operations.

“This is something we heard a lot in rural Yukon when we did the community tours.”

If a household qualifies as low income, they can now apply to have some of their home repair loan forgiven. In Whitehorse that means having a household income below $49,500.

The portion of the loan that might be forgivable depends on the household’s income level, Milne said.

Yukon Housing has $600,000 budgeted to use for the new forgivable loans.

Other changes include updates to the first-time mortgage program, which offers mortgages to people who wouldn’t normally be qualified by a bank. That includes those who are self-employed or people who work seasonally, Milne said.

Yukon Housing meets with potential homebuyers to take a close look at their situation before deciding whether to give them a mortgage, he said.

Yukon Housing mortgages used to be fixed rate mortgages. Now they will be variable rate.

The amount you could borrow for a mortgage used to be fixed at a maximum of $365,000. Now it will be adjusted based on average real estate values. Right now the new max sits at $408,000.

“I think it’s important to highlight that the clients still (have to) qualify on debt servicing similar to other financial institutions, so they’re not put in a situation they can’t manage,” Milne said. “There’s perimeters in place to make sure they’re able to service the debt.”