Local homeownership programs in Ontario you should know about

Buying a home is likely to be the biggest financial decision of your life, which is why you should spend the time to research not only your mortgage, but also any incentives you can take advantage of when purchasing a property.

Some Ontario municipalities run their own incentive programs to make it easier for residents to find homes and to encourage economic growth in the area. Here are a few helpful programs you should know about. and be sure to check the local municipality you live in for any other

Key Takeaways

  • If you’re buying a home in Ontario, there are a number of different local homeownership programs you might qualify for.
  • Most homeownership programs are aimed at helping low-income renters purchase their first home by offering down payment assistance.
  • Some down payment assistant is forgivable meaning the loan is essentially a grant.

Ontario homeownership incentives

Niagara region

Under the Niagara Homeownership Program, qualified individuals can receive down payment assistance equivalent to 5% of the property’s value, up to a maximum of $23,408.30. This assistance is provided as a forgivable loan, meaning that portions or the entire loan amount can be forgiven or deferred based on specific criteria. To be eligible, your property must be valued below $468,116, and you must currently be a renter with a gross household income of less than $85,000.


The Affordable Home Ownership Program provided by the Region of Waterloo, allows qualified residents to borrow up to 5% of their home price applicable to properties valued at $506,000 or below. To qualify for the program, participants must have a household income below $101,300 and have been residing in the region for the past 12 months.

Simcoe County

Under the Simcoe Affordable Homeownership Program, qualified buyers can receive down payment assistance of 10% of the property’s value, up to a maximum of $50,000. This is provided as a forgivable loan over 20 years. In the event that participants decide to sell the property before the 20-year mark, they will be required to repay the loan in full, along with a portion of the capital gains. To be eligible for the program, the home must be valued at $593,879 or less, and applicants must be renters with a gross household income of less than $103,200.


The Chatham-Kent Affordable Homeownership Program provides assistance with down payments, covering up to 10% of the purchase price, to a maximum of $25,000. Eligibility for the program is determined by the applicant’s household income, which must be below $80,100.


The Home Ownership Program in Kingston and the surrounding County of Frontenac offers renters a forgivable loan of 10% of the purchase price, up to a maximum of $44,000. To be eligible, the applicants combined household income cannot exceed $91,000, and the property’s must be valued at less than $440,000.


The Muskoka Affordable Housing Initiative Program, provides down payment assistance to eligible applicants with down payment assistance loans of up to $43,500 available and a maximum purchase price limit of $435,000. To participate in the program, applicants must enter into a loan agreement with The District Municipality of Muskoka, undergo a home inspection (required for resale homes and strongly recommended for new homes), and cover the closing costs independently. 


The City of Brantford offers loans to home buyers and owners to help residents afford repairs or purchase their first home. Assistance is offered in the form of 10-year loans that may be forgiven under specific criteria. Applicants must be looking to buy a home valued at $400,000 or less, with a maximum household income of $90,000. 

Dufferin County

Dufferin County also has a homeownership program which provides interest-free down payment assistance to help residents purchase their home.

Eco-friendly homeowner incentives

Aside from local homeownership programs, there are a number of provincial and federal incentives available for homeowners, especially those willing to “green-ify” their home.

The Greener Homes Grant is a federal grant for homeowners who put in specific renovations in their home including insulation, windows, doors, and heating systems. The grant is a rebate of up to $10,000 towards the cost of your renovations. There are more details on the government page but these grants are specifically incentivizing renovations that reduce energy use or increase your home’s efficiency, such as air sealing, insulation, replacing windows and doors or installing a heat pump.

The GST/HST new housing rebate is a tax rebate available for buyers of new housing builds or substantially renovated homes from a builder. This rebate is only available if the home is your primary residence and the value of the home is less than $450,000. If you are eligible for this rebate you will receive back the federal portion of the tax paid for your home. 

Recommended reading: How you can save money by making your home eco-friendly.

Check out our interest rate forecast for an up to date outlook on the mortgage market, including where our analysts predict rates will go over the next 5 years. 

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