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Canadian Government Invests in Black Owned Housing

Home ownership is becoming more difficult month after month in Canada’s hot real estate market. With record low interest rates the dream of owning a home by Canadians is fervent, but the resulting price increases have left many out of reach. Owning a home is still one of the best ways to create financial well-being for families. However, ownership of real estate in Canada isn’t a reality for every Canadian family. For many Black, Indigenous, and other racialized families the ability to enter the housing market is statistically much more difficult. Many have little chance of becoming homeowners as costs continue to skyrocket.

Wide gap between white and racialized home ownership rates in Canada

In higher-income neighbourhoods — where families are most likely to be homeowners — 74 per cent of families are white. Statistics reveal that lower-income neighbourhoods where families are more likely to rent sixty nine per cent of residents are racialized.

Today the Liberal government announced $10 million in federal funding for the BlackNorth Homeownership Bridge Program. Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Housing and Diversity and Inclusion, alongside Kamal Khera, Minister of Seniors, and Arielle Kayabaga, Member of Parliament for London West introduced the investment to help deliver an estimated 200 affordable homes to first-time homeowner Black families in the Greater Toronto Area within the next four years under the Shared Equity Mortgage Provider fund (SEMP).

Collaboration of BlackNorth and Canadian Government on support for Black Canadians

“In Canada, diversity is a fact but inclusion is a choice. That also means recognizing that different Canadians face unique challenges, especially when it comes to finding a safe and affordable place to call home. Our government continues to support Black Canadians in accessing equitable housing opportunities. This funding will support Black Canadians across the GTA to become homeowners and break the cycle of core housing need. This is another way our National Housing Strategy is ensuring no one is left behind.”

Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Housing and Diversity and Inclusion and Minister responsible for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

This program is led by BlackNorth Initiative in partnership with Habitat for Humanity Toronto. This initiative will support homeownership for Black Canadians through a shared equity mortgage structure.

“The COVID-19 crisis has made it clear that affordable housing is key to Canada’s recovery, as communities across the country are dealing with the devastating impacts of rising levels of homelessness and housing need. About 88,000 Black households are in core housing need. We need to focus first and foremost on the most vulnerable of our fellow Canadians, including those who face unique challenges. Investment in the BlackNorth Initiative Homeownership Bridging Program highlights the Government of Canada’s commitment to both anti-racism initiatives and finding pathways to homeownership.”, said Wes Hall, Executive Chairman and Founder, BlackNorth Initiative

Programs to build strength and generational wealth in Black households

The Homeownership Bridge Program (HBP) will support homeowners in building strength and generational wealth through their home, create ownership opportunities for multiple generations of homeowners and will ensure housing units remain affordable across multiple owners to build inclusive communities.

“Systemic racism has left Black households with lower incomes, less household wealth, and other more subtle barriers to accessing the benefits of homeownership in Canada. Habitat for Humanity GTA is proud to partner with the BlackNorth Initiative on this important new homeownership bridge program.  When families go from renting, often in overcrowded, unsafe and unaffordable conditions to owning their own home, we see incomes go up, education levels increase, and health and wellness improve. By creating more inclusive communities together and with help from our real estate partners, we’re truly building a better GTA for everyone.”, said Ene Underwood, CEO of Habitat for Humanity GTA

Continuation of investment by Government of Canada to achieve home ownership

This investment builds on previous announcements by the Government of Canada to support Black Canadians in achieving their dream of homeownership. These include a joint contribution of $40 million with Habitat for Humanity to create 200 additional homeownership opportunities for Black Canadians, as part of a recently announced $50 million investment through the National Housing Co-Investment Fund to support Black Canadian renters.

Today’s announcement of $10 million in funding for our partners at The BlackNorth Initiative is yet another step in that direction. It is an example of how our Government is meeting the needs of Black Canadians who are in need of housing. I look forward to seeing this program help realize the dream of homeownership for families, seniors, and Canadians from coast to coast to coast.” – said, Kamal Khera, Minister of Seniors

Quick Facts about Black Canadian Home Ownership

The BlackNorth Homeownership Bridge Program is more than an affordable housing strategy. It is an economic and a racial inclusion strategy. The Homeownership Bridge Program is part of the federal government’s work to alleviate inequities faced by Black Canadians. It is meant to support Black Canadians’ core housing needs.

  • Nearly a quarter of Black Canadians are in core housing need, 80% among them pay 30% or more of their income towards housing.
  • The Shared Equity Mortgage Providers (SEMP) fund will provide up to $100 million in lending to SEMPs, over a five-year period, starting in 2019-2020. 
  • Shared equity mortgages give eligible buyers the ability to reduce their monthly mortgage payment without increasing the amount they must save for a down payment.
  • The shared equity mortgage typically requires no monthly payment and is repaid along with a percentage of property appreciation when the property is sold.
  • As of 31 December 2021, five agreements were signed for $17 million assisting in the creation of over 700 new homeownership units through SEMP.
  • Canada’s National Housing Strategy (NHS) is a 10-year, $72+ billion plan that will give more Canadians a place to call home. It is grounded in a human rights-based approach to housing that prioritizes the needs of population groups that are in housing need or experience homelessness.

As chair of the BlackNorth Initiative Housing Committee, and on behalf of the Black Community, I am excited to see the impact the Homeownership Bridge Program will have for generations to come as a result of the partnership and collaborative efforts of the Government and other key institutional partners.”

Isaac Olowolafe, Chair and Founder of Dream Legacy Foundation


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