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HOAP – Past_ Present and Future

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									HOAP – Past, Present and Future

The Home Ownership Affordability Partnership, also known as HOAP, is an
initiative of the RAHB, Hamilton-Halton Home Builders’ Association, Scotiabank,
City of Hamilton and local charity, Threshold School of Building. Hope is actually
what those involved with this initiative provide to struggling families trying to
achieve the security of owning their own home. The benefits of HOAP include
neighbourhood revitalization and investment, promotion of affordable home
ownership for existing tenant households, freeing up existing social housing units
for other needy households and training youth to have marketable job skills in the
construction and renovation industry.

The procedure followed to ensure HOAP’s objectives are fulfilled include:
- the selection of families who currently reside in CityHousing Hamilton social
housing units and who have a desire and the financial means for securing
affordable homeownership.
- Working with a REALTOR® and the Multiple Listing Service®, the selected
families will identify single-family properties within a price range that meets their
needs and requirements. The dwelling units will require renovation and
rehabilitation work.
- The selected families will submit an “Offer to Purchase” for their respective
dwellings with REALTOR® advice and guidance.
- The selected families will apply for Residential Rehabilitation Assistance
Program (RRAP) funding, which is a program financed by Canada Mortgage and
Housing Corporation (CMHC) and delivered by the City of Hamilton.
- The Threshold School of Building will co-ordinate the renovation and
rehabilitation of the dwellings (while teaching students and volunteers some
building skills), including the monitoring of “sweat equity” participation by the
families.
- The selected families will be required to provide 500 hours of sweat equity on their
houses or other project houses within three years of taking ownership of their
houses.
- Upon completion of the renovation and rehabilitation work, the families will move
into their respective dwellings.
- The property values will increase as a result of the renovations and rehabilitation,
there will be a second mortgage registered on title that will represent the difference
in value between the amount paid for the house by the selected families and the
market value of the renovated houses.

Funding from the initiative has come from the following sources: City of
Hamilton’s Housing Hamilton Innovations Fund (HHIF), the RAHB and the
Ontario Real Estate Association Foundation (OREA). HOAP also gratefully
receives many donations of renovation materials for these projects.
In 2004, two homes were completed within eight months. The Lau’s, originally
from Hong Kong, were one of the first HOAP recipient families and know the
tremendous value of being the beneficiary of such a community initiative.
Because of HOAP, Mei So, a 54 year-old mother of three owns a unit for the first
time in her life. She and her family not only own a house, but they own a place
they now can call “home”. The Limbombe family, formerly from South Africa,
have five children from the ages eight to 18. The HOAP initiative represented an
opportunity for parents Basunga and Nicole to be together with their children in a
safe and healthy family environment. In addition to raising his family in their new
home, Basunga, a South African doctor, is working towards achieving his license
to practice in Canada. Our most recent HOAP initiative is with a widow. Nicola
Miligovic’s Canadian journey with her two children began four years ago.
Leaving behind an existence in a place they called home in war torn Bosnia took
tremendous courage and hope. However, with the assistance of the Home
Ownership Affordability Partnership, Nicola and her young family now have a
place to call home in Stoney Creek. With the success stories of each of the
above families and with the dedication of all partners, HOAP will be provided to
at least two more families by year’s end.

With two of HOAP’s three projects finalized and the third family about to
move into their home, the City of Hamilton has been able to place two more
needy families in subsidized housing units. The first, a single mother of
two sons was living with her ex-husband and in-laws. When the house was
sold, she was able to move into her subsidized unit within a month. The
second family of six was living in an apartment and paying over $1,000.00
rent. The family’s source of income is ODSP as the father has lost his eye.

Indirectly, HOAP has assisted an additional nine people secure affordable
rental housing by freeing up subsidized housing units vacated by the Lau
and Limbombe families.

HOAP not only educates social housing families on the opportunities and
benefits of homeownership and new homeowners with the responsibilities of
homeownership. It also demonstrates that although the human spirit is strong,
it’s remarkable when working together.

								
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