TIB readies for first loan guarantee
For most Canadians, home ownership is the ultimate dream, but that goal can be difficult to reach for many First Nations.
However, a new housing program will make that dream easier to attain for members of the Tk’emlups Indian Band (TIB) who want to build a new home on the reserve.
Two years ago, the TIB applied to be a member of the First Nations Market Housing Fund and, in the coming weeks, the band is expected to provide its first loan guarantee.
“It’s another option for our members to look at getting a house they want to build,” TIB Chief Shane Gottfriedson said, adding the loans would be for leased property for 99 years.
The market-housing fund is a federal program designed to help broaden the range of housing options for residents of First Nations communities.
Gottfriedson explained it took much longer for band members to get home financing under the traditional system, which was run by Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development ministry.
The band has been negotiating with four banks, including Bank of Montreal, Peace Hills Trust, Vancity Savings Credit Union and Valley First Credit Union.
Gottfriedson suggested the new program is important because it’s always been a challenge for members to get financing on the reserve.
The chief said he hopes many members will take advantage of the new program, noting there a quite a few younger band members who are working and can afford the opportunity.
The lending program also covers home renovations.
To qualify for a loan, a band member must be 19 or older, must have access to a serviceable lot on the TIB reserve, must meet one of the approved lenders minimum credit requirements and must have no default with the band longer than 30 days.
All new-home construction must meet federal and provincial building-code standards.