Lending to First Nation members

Access to financing is considered one of the significant limitations to home ownership in First Nation communities. The restrictions of the Indian Act and the collective ownership of the lands often complicates the ability and interest of lenders to provide financing. Vancity has a number of product solutions to address these concerns, and with the support of other partners we have developed customized options that fit the needs of our Members and respect and reflect the various forms of land tenure and housing support within the First Nation communities that we work with.

For First Nation members whose home is located on leased lands, conventional or high ratio mortgage lending is available subject to the underlying lease being in compliance with CMHC insurance guidelines. For communities where the Land Code offers the ability to self-lease, conventional mortgage financing is also an option.

For significant renovations and upgrades our personal loan product is available with an extended amortization of up to 15 years without requiring mortgage like security for qualified Members.

There are two Federal government sponsored loan programs that we currently offer to members of a First Nation to finance the purchase, renovation/upgrade, or new construction of single and multi family (max 4 units) houses located on reserve lands where mortgage security is not available.

In addition, we are also able to develop custom programs with individual First Nations which reflect the unique housing requirements and policies of your community.

On-reserve Housing Loans under the Federal Government’s Ministerial Loan Guarantee (MLG) program

A number of First Nations Governments participate in the Federal Government’s Ministerial Loan Guarantee (MLG) program - where the Chief and Council of a First Nations (FN) approve and request that the Federal Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development issues a guarantee to the financial institution for the amount of the loan, given that the Indian Act does not allow a conventional mortgage to secure the loan. The individual is approved by both Vancity and the First Nation Government, and our loan is subject to having the MLG as the alternate security.

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On-reserve Housing Loans under the First Nations Market Housing Fund (FNMHF)

The First Nations Market Housing Fund is an alternative to the MLG secured loans, where the Fund and the FN Government guarantee the housing loan made by a participating Lender to an approved Borrower. The FNMHF does an analysis of the FN and establishes a limit for loan guarantees, and also provides capacity support to the FN. The FN then approaches participating lenders, who also establish a cap or limits for the guarantees to be accepted from the FN. Individuals can then approach the participating lenders and offer the guarantees of the FN, as well as the Fund as security for the loan (again in lieu of conventional mortgage security). The Borrower then would have to be approved by Vancity subject to the guarantee of the FN and a certificate from the FNMHF as the alternate security.

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Tsawwassen First Nation Home Mortgage Program

Vancity and the Tsawwassen First Nation (TFN) have developed a mortgage product with competitive rates and features for Tsawwassen First Nation members which respects the Tsawwassen Fee Simple Interest (TFSI) form of land tenure. The TFN Government provides its guarantee to Vancity for Members which meet Vancity’s standard lending criteria.

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On-reserve housing loans on self leased lands

A number of First Nation communities have adopted Land Codes which offer the option for First Nation members to enter into a self-lease over their allotted lands. We are working with participating First Nation governments to offer a mortgage product with competitive rates and features to their members which meet Vancity's standard lending criteria.

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