THUNDER BAY, ONTARIO ---- November 17, 2014 ---- “I'm extremely lucky that I qualified as the first client in the BCU's new Homeowner Mortgage Assistance Program based on my character and my credit rating, which gets good in sobriety I guess. I found a 1 1/2 story bank repo listed for $29k that was largely renovated already; it has hardwood floors, ten foot ceilings, a view of the river, neighbours that lived there for 40 years, and is on a very quiet street with a fenced yard and mature trees.
I bought it in Dec 2011. It’s a long story as to how I managed to get all the work I needed done on it, especially after the flood, to bring it up to code and make it affordable to heat, but I did… I got a federal eco-energy grant to insulate and an Ontario Renovates grant that paid for central heating, siding, and new windows.
I did a lot of landscaping and planted organic food gardens. In Dec 2013, BCU said it was worth $98,000. I was very assertive getting the BCU to let me borrow against this to max out my Registered Disability Savings Plan in time for December 31st of the year I turned 49. That is the federal program for severely disabled folks that triples contributions. I just barely made the deadline.
But it’s worth it because income from my RDSP is exempt by ODSP and later by GIS. My tiny, renovated, energy efficient house that cost the previous owners’ $750/month in winter to heat only cost me $52/month to heat in 2013. I’m already producing tons of organic food. I have a plan to have my house paid off in my 60's. I will have escaped poverty.”
Bay Credit Union thanks Wendy Ferris of Century 21 and Anthony Carfagnini of Northern Law Group, our community partners in this initiative.
BY RUTH WESTCOTT