An Affordable Homeownership Option that Enables Black Families to Thrive
The BlackNorth Initiative (BNI) Homeownership Bridge Program helps working black families like yours become homeowners, empowering you to build security, stability, equity and the opportunity to make life better for yourselves, your children and generations to come.
In partnership with Habitat for Humanity GTA and empowered by Dream Legacy Foundation, the BNI Homeownership Bridge Program is designed as both a symbolic and a practical approach to mobilize all levels of society in working together to eliminate systemic racism. The BNI Homeownership Bridge Program is an affordable housing solution that responds to an economic and racial inclusion problem.
Homeownership has enabled generations of Canadians to build equity to start businesses, support children’s post-secondary education, provide for retirement and transfer wealth to children, however, the Black community has been left out.
In Toronto, housing is highly racialized:
➢ 75% of residents who identify as white, have a higher than average income, and are homeowners
➢ while 69% of residents who identify as racialized, have lower income, and rent their houses.
Homeownership has become completely out of reach for the average Torontonian.
➢ In 1990, the price of a family-sized home was 4x-4.5x the average income
➢ Today, a family-sized home accounts for 15x-16x of the average income.
How does it work - How do we make homeownership affordable
Families approved for the BNI Homeownership Bridge Program receive support to purchase a home. Our program makes homes affordable by requiring no down payment and a two-mortgage model:
- The first mortgage is supplied by a conventional lender, such as a bank or credit union and is provided at market interest rates.
- The second silent mortgage is provided by BNI Homeownership Bridge Program and its partners and is the difference between the purchase price of the home and the first mortgage. Families will begin paying this second mortgage after the first mortgage is paid in full.
How BNI Homeownership Bridge Program families build wealth
Families approved for the BNI Homeownership Bridge Program enter into a shared equity agreement, meaning families and the BNI Homeownership Bridge Program share the home’s increase in value or appreciation. When families make their mortgage payments on their first mortgage, they are building their equity. Families also build equity by earning appreciation (growth in value) on their share (first mortgage). The appreciation families earned is fixed at 2% annually. When families make their monthly payments, which are geared to their incomes, they are enabled to build wealth.
How to apply - Minimum requirements
- You or any member of your household, self-identify as black.
- You are the parent or legal guardian of at least one child under the age of 16.
- You are a Canadian citizen or permanent resident.
- You are a first-time homebuyer currently renting.
- You are employed full-time or full-time equivalent.
- Have worked in Canada for more than 3 years.
- Have a gross household income of $65,000 and above. Supplemental sources of income (Child Tax Benefit, Employment Insurance, Child Support, etc.), may or may not be included and will be considered on a case by case basis.
*Income requirements and size of units vary by project. So, while you may meet our minimum requirements listed above, your income or family composition may not meet the requirements for the currently available units.
BNI Homeownership Bridge Program families become partners in our work and need to complete the following to support the program and become empowered homeowners:
- 500 hours of community volunteer hours.
- Act as a program ambassador when requested by sharing your homeownership journey with the public.
- Ongoing participation in Social Impact Study.
- Attendance and completion of our Homeowner Education Program including topics on but not limited to:
- Orientation and Ambassador
- Legal Relationships
- Financial Planning and Management
- Condominium Information
- Move-In and Warranty
After you apply - Program partners
BlackNorth Initiative is the lead administrator of the Homeownership Bridge Program and is responsible for the overall run of the program. Dream Legacy Foundation is responsible for the outreach to the community, intake of the applications, and will engage with the families participating in the program. Habitat for Humanity GTA is responsible for helping to acquire homes for the program, either through its own Habitat builds or working with developers eager to provide homes to the program. There will also be a combination of various workshops (homeowner education program) as part of the program requirements conducted by both partners during the homeownership journey.
1. Initial pre-screenings conducted
2. Program informational session
3. Formal application submission
4. Approval of application
5. Securing a loan from a regular lender
6. Homeowner education program (Financial literacy, Condominium information, etc.)
7. Unit delivery
8. Community equity contribution (500 hours volunteer hours)