New HeadStart on a Home development opens in Saskatoon

  • June 3, 2013

Saskatoon families are celebrating increased access to safe, quality homes at Stonebridge Villas, a 60-unit apartment-style condominium located at 125 Willis Crescent. The Government of Saskatchewan provided $9.9 million in financing assistance through the HeadStart on a Home program, in addition to $60,000 through the Affordable Home Ownership Program (AHOP).

Stonebridge Villas will be the fourth Saskatoon project to complete construction under HeadStart on a Home. To date, construction has been completed on a total of 230 units across the province.

"As noted in Saskatchewan’s Plan for Growth, our goal is to capture the opportunities and meet the challenges of a growing province," Advanced Education Minister Don Morgan said on behalf of Social Services Minister and Minister responsible for Saskatchewan Housing Corporation June Draude. "We want to improve access to quality homes for Saskatchewan residents, and foster partnerships and collaboration between the public and private sector to create those homes. HeadStart on a Home is one way to achieve that."

"HeadStart on a Home addresses the current need for entry-level homes in our province," Westcap Mgt. Ltd. President and CEO Grant Kook said. "As housing prices increase, homeownership becomes unattainable for many people. As the Fund Manager of HeadStart, working closely with our Credit Union partners, we are very pleased to have approved more than $159 million in construction financing for 973 entry-level homes to date – including this 60-unit project in Stonebridge in collaboration with the City of Saskatoon."

Construction of Stonebridge Villas began in February 2012, with an estimated total project cost of $11.1 million. The units range from 1,008 to 1,114 square feet and are priced at $249,228 to $277,450 including GST. The layouts range from two bedrooms/two bathrooms to three bedrooms/two bathrooms, and feature six appliances, patios or balconies, in-suite laundry, vinyl flooring and bedroom carpeting. Each home is warrantied under the New Home Warranty Program.

HeadStart on a Home was announced in March 2011 to finance construction of at least 1,000 new, entry-level homes over five years. Builders and developers are eligible for construction loans of 90 per cent on the construction cost of the homes, including land, at an interest rate of four per cent.

Municipalities may apply for the loans on behalf of builders and developers. There is $200 million in funding available for the program through the Federal Immigrant Investor Program, which flows through the Saskatchewan Immigrant Investor Fund Inc. (SIIF), managed by Westcap Mgt. Ltd. (Westcap). SIIF is a subsidiary of Crown Investments Corporation.

The target sale price for homes constructed through HeadStart on a Home is at or below the MLS average sale price in each community, ranging from $180,000 to $300,000. The homes may include condominiums, multi-unit dwellings, single family dwellings, modular homes or ready-to-move units.

Westcap is partnering with Saskatchewan credit unions (Advantage, Affinity, Conexus, Cornerstone, Diamond North, Innovation, North Valley, Plainsview, Prairie Centre, Synergy, Spectra, and Weyburn) to offer HeadStart on a Home downpayment loans for purchasers and to ensure communities across Saskatchewan have every opportunity to be a part of this housing program. Builders who are interested in meeting their community’s housing needs may contact Westcap directly.

The Government of Saskatchewan announced the Affordable Home Ownership Program in 2011 with a budget of $3.8 million. The goal of the program is to stimulate homeownership by providing municipalities up to $5,000 per unit to match grants provided to homebuyers. The City of Saskatoon’s Mortgage Flexibilities Support Program is supported by AHOP.

For more information contact:

Linda Saliken
Social Services

Grant Kook, President/CEO
Westcap Mgt. Ltd.