The Sask. Party is targeting first-time home buyers with its latest election promise.
During a campaign stop in Saskatoon Monday, Brad Wall said the Sask. Party would introduce the First Home Plan (FHP) if re-elected on April 4.
Under the plan, post-secondary graduates will be eligible to use up to $10,000 of their Graduate Retention Program (GRC) tax benefit toward a down payment on their first home. Couples buying their first home together will be allowed to pool their GRC benefit up to $20,000.
“Young people were saying to me and to our MLAs, the challenge we have sometimes, especially with a strong economy is being able to afford that down payment on our first home or maybe a first condo,” Wall said.
“That’s important from a growth perspective for the province. It’s important for Saskatchewan young people to choose to work here … a better sign that they’re going to stay here for the long term is if they buy a house — if they put down roots.”
Wall says FHP applies to a single family home, a semi-detached house, a townhouse, a mobile home, a condominium or an apartment.
The cost of the program, $900,000 in the first year, $1.8 million in year two, $2.7 million in year three and $3.6 million in year four, is in addition to the cost of the GRP.
Once up and running, grads would apply to the Saskatchewan Housing Corporation for the interest-free loans. If the graduate maintains ownership of the home for the entire loan period, the loan will not have to be repaid.
Walls says those who don’t go to university can still use the First-Time Homebuyers Tax Credit.
Brad Wall also promised to increase the Saskatchewan Advantage Scholarship from $500 to $750 per year.
Wall said increasing the tuition rebate for post secondary students would be contingent on the province’s finances improving first.