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 Down Payment Assistance Program Regulations

made under Section 26 of the

Housing Act

R.S.N.S. 1989, c. 211

O.I.C. 2017-155 (April 27, 2017), N.S. Reg. 88/2017


1     These regulations may be cited as the Down Payment Assistance Program Regulations.


2     In these regulations,


“applicant” means an individual who applies to the Program, and includes the individual’s spouse;


“common-law partner” means an individual who is living with another individual in a relationship of interdependence functioning as an economic and domestic unit, and 1 of the following applies to the 2 persons in the relationship:


                         (i)     they have lived together for at least 12 continuous months,


                         (ii)    they lived together previously in a relationship of interdependence functioning as an economic and domestic unit for at least 12 continuous months, including any period of time the 2 persons were separated for less than 90 days, and have resumed living together in such a relationship;


“first-time home buyer” means an individual who has never acquired ownership of a single-family dwelling in Canada by way of purchase, inheritance or gift;


“mobile home” means a prefabricated building, including a mini home, that has all of the following characteristics:


                         (i)     it is composed of 1 main modular part that is designed to be used as a single detached dwelling on a separate lot and permanently affixed to leased or owned real property,


                         (ii)    it has an average width greater than 2.6 m (8.5 ft.) and less than 6.1 m (20 ft.) and a length that is at least 3 times the width;


“participant” means an applicant whose application has been approved by the Minister;


“Program” means the Down Payment Assistance Program established by these regulations to help a participant make a down payment for the purchase or construction of a property;


“property”, unless the context otherwise requires, means a single-family dwelling, and except for a mobile home located on leased real property, includes the land purchased with the dwelling;


“recognized financial institution” means an approved lender as defined in the National Housing Act (Canada);


“single-family dwelling” means any of the following types of homes that is used solely for residential purposes:


                         (i)     detached house,


                         (ii)    semi-detached house,


                         (iii)   row house,


                         (iv)   mobile home,


                         (v)    condominium unit;


“spouse” of an individual means another individual who is cohabitating with the individual in a conjugal relationship as a married spouse, registered domestic partner or common-law partner.

Down Payment Assistance Program

3     (1)    The Minister may provide financial assistance in an amount of up to 5% of the purchase price of a property, to a maximum dollar amount determined by the Minister, for the purpose of helping a first-time home buyer make a down payment for the purchase of the property.


       (2)    Financial assistance provided under the Program may be used only for a down payment for the purchase of a property, and must not be used for financing, closing or any other costs.


       (3)    A participant must provide security for the financial assistance they receive under the Program in the form of a second mortgage on the property in favour of Housing Nova Scotia.


       (4)    A second mortgage referred to in subsection (3) must meet the following requirements:


                (a)    it must be interest-free as long for as the participant is not in default under it;


                (b)    it must include the condition that the participant’s failure to continue to use the property as their principal residence during its term would constitute a breach of the mortgage.

Program eligibility

4     (1)    For an applicant to be eligible for the Program, all of the following criteria must be met:


                (a)    the property is located in the Province;


                (b)    the applicant is a first-time home buyer;


                (c)    if the dwelling on the property is a mobile home, it is no more than 10 years old;


                (d)    the applicant has been pre-approved for a first mortgage by a recognized financial institution;


                (e)    the applicant has a satisfactory credit rating, as determined by the Minister;


                (f)    the applicant has reviewed any educational material for first-time home buyers provided by the Minister;


                (g)    the applicant’s total household income is within the dollar limit set by the Minister under Section 5;


                (h)    the Minister is satisfied that the applicant would not have the financial ability to pay 5% of the purchase price as a down payment for the property without the assistance of the Program.


       (2)    For applicants who are spouses of one another, clauses (1)(e) and (f) apply individually to each spouse.

Household income limit

5     (1)    The Minister must determine the total household income limit for the purpose of the application criterion in clause 4(1)(g).


       (2)    In subsection (1), “total household income” means the total income of the applicant, including all of the following:


                (a)    gross salaries, wages, overtime payments, commissions, bonuses, tips, and gratuities;


                (b)    if the applicant is self-employed in a business, the greater of


                         (i)     the net income from the business, and


                         (ii)    the total withdrawals from the business as personal salary or other benefits;


                (c)    the gross amount of unemployment insurance benefits;


                (d)    the gross amount of workers’ compensation payments or other industrial accident insurance payments made because of illness or disability;


                (e)    the gross amount of any old age security, federal guaranteed income supplement and spouse’s allowance payments;


                (f)    the gross amount of any kind of pension, allowance, benefit or annuity payments provided by the government of Canada, a province, a municipality or any level of government of any other country or state;


                (g)    the gross amount of alimony, separation, maintenance or support payments;


                (h)    the gross amount of gains from investments, including interest on dividends, stocks, shares and other securities.

Applying for assistance under Program

6     (1)    An application for assistance under the Program must be submitted to the Minister together with all of the following documentation or information:


                (a)    all of the following for each applicant or, for applicants who are spouses of one another, individually for each spouse:


                         (i)     proof of age,


                         (ii)    proof of residency,


                         (iii)   proof of liquid financial assets,


                         (iv)   social insurance number,


                         (v)    a list of assets and liabilities,


                         (vi)   a copy of 1 of the following from the previous year:


                                  (A)   income tax return,


                                  (B)   Notice of Assessment with tax information slips from the Canada Revenue Agency,


                                  (C)   Notice of Reassessment with tax information slips from the Canada Revenue Agency,


                         (vii)  any documents that are reasonably requested by the Minister;


                (b)    for applicants who are spouses of one another, proof of cohabitation or marital status;


                (c)    a copy of a financing pre-approval letter or commitment letter from a recognized financial institution for the first mortgage on the property.


       (2)    In addition to the information and documents required by subsection (1), an application must include a written authorization by the applicant that does the following:


                (a)    authorizes the release of any information to the Minister about the applicant that is relevant to the application, including the information and documents required under subsection (1); and


                (a)    authorizes the Minister to obtain or verify any information about the applicant that is relevant to the application, including the information and documents required under subsection (1).


       (3)    For applicants who are spouses of one another, the written authorization in subsection (2) is required from each spouse.


       (4)    If an applicant refuses to provide the information or documents required by subsection (1) or the authorization required by subsection (2), the application must be rejected.