Home Ownership Investment Fund (H.I.F.)
Note: The information on this page may change from time to time as we receive updates. Be sure to check regularly for updates.
Current funding for the program is fully allocated. The Homeownership Investment Fund (HIF) is currently accepting applications for the next fiscal year April 1, 2016.
What is the Homeownership Investment Fund (HIF)?
The Homeownership Investment Fund has been developed in conjunction with Wikwemikong Unceded Indian Reserve and Wikwemikong Development Commission. The objective of the Homeownership Investment Fund is to provide community members access to affordable and competitive mortgages and home loans in order to build, purchase, renovate or refinance homes on Wikwemikong Unceded Indian Reserve.
The HIF is a revolving loan fund (RLF) which is a pool of money from which loans are made. The Wikwemikong Unceded First Nation has made initial investment of $800,000 into HIF. The funds are used to make loans to Band members. These loans are used to build, renovate and purchase houses on reserve. The loan repayments and interest are paid by the borrower and put back into the RLF to be used to make additional loans. Additional funds may be sourced from year to year based on council approval.
In 2013 Wikwemikong Unceded First Nation had fast became the front runner in the Housing as a Business (HaaB) Ontario Demonstration pilot project initiative. On May 23, 2013 the HaaB Working Group had a meeting with various senior staff of Wikwemikong Development Commission. The meeting resulted in a generated list of action items for HaaB implementation. An additional presentation was given to community members and business owners in September of 2013 which created interest and further support to proceed.
The Wikwemikong Development Commission had submitted a proposal to Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada (AANDC) Ontario Region under the Community Economic Opportunity Program (CEOP) Fund, along with the Community Economic Grant Contribution from Waubetek and the Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs for the establishment of a HaaB entity. Since receiving approval, the WDC has recruited a Wikwemikong HaaB Coordinator, Joceline Pelletier and recently recruited Janine Pitawanakwat as WDC Loans Officer.
We have since change the name of Housing as a Business (HaaB) to the Homeownership Investment Fund (HIF). The intent of the fund is that Wikwemikong band members become the owners of their homes, gaining pride of ownership and security for their families. There is also the possibility that the value of the home will increase. As the fund grows, additional loans can be offered, and more homes can be built. This reduces leakage of dollars in the community and creates job opportunities.
The Homeownership Investment Fund policy is governed in whole by Wiikwemkoong Gchi-Naaknigewin and Wiikwemkoong Matrimonial Real Property Law. It is expected the fund can provide assistance for approximately 4 – 6 per year. Completed applications will be generally processed on a first come, first serve basis.
Is Homeownership Right for You?
So, you've finally decided to fulfill a lifelong dream and buy your own home... how exciting! You are ready to fulfill your dream of having a place to call your own.
Buying or building your home is one of the biggest emotional and financial decision you'll ever make. Prepare by learning about the process of home buying and the responsibilities of homeownership. The differences between renting and buying a home are vast, and there's a long list of pros and cons for both options. And, remember — there is no one best decision for everyone. Before moving forward, though, here are some questions to consider.
· Do you have the necessary financial management skills?
· How financially stable are you?
· Are you ready to take on the responsibility of all the costs involved in homeownership, including mortgage payments, repairs, maintenance and home insurance?
· Are you able to devote the time required for home maintenance?
Benefits of Homeownership
· Pride of Ownership
· Build equity
· You can remodel or change your home as you see fit.
· You design your own home, choice of flooring, fixtures etc.
· Storage space or garage
· Your home is truly your castle
Are you eligible to apply?
To be eligible to apply, you must:
· Must be a Band Member of the Wikwemikong Unceded Territory
· Must be 18 years of age or older
· Must have job (minimum 2 years employment)
· Must have good credit
· Must have income to support loan
· Current debt load is moderate (credit cards, loans, auto payments)
· Total Debt Servicing (TDS) ratio not to exceed 40%
· Not owe money to Wikwemikong Unceded Indian Reserve or Wikwemikong Development Commission
What size of loan am I eligible for?
New - $ 250,000 Purchase - $ 250,000 Renovate - $ 75,000
New - 25 years Purchase - 25 years Renovate - 20 years
How do I apply?
Step 1: Read the Homeownership Investment Fund Fact Sheet (updated October 2015) HIF Fact Sheet
Step 2: Complete the Homeownership Investment Fund Application Form. You can also call 705-859-3001 or toll free 888-801-9422 to have an application package mailed or faxed to you. HIF Application Form
Step 3: Drop off, mail or fax your completed application to:
Homeownership Investment Fund
Attn: Janine Pitawanakwat
2102 Wikwemikong Way
Wikwemikong, ON P0P 2J0