Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

April 20, 2017 09:55 ET

CMHC to Introduce Changes to Multi-Unit Mortgage Loan Insurance to Better Support Rental Housing

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - April 20, 2017) - The rental market is an important housing option for approximately 30% of Canadians. Effective May 15, CMHC will introduce enhancements to its multi-unit mortgage loan insurance that will address the rental needs of Canadians while supporting efforts to expand and preserve the supply of affordable rental housing.

"CMHC's products and services facilitate access to housing for all Canadians, not just homebuyers" said Steve Mennill, Senior Vice-President, Insurance. "The enhancements to our multi-unit mortgage loan insurance products and policies are designed to expand our participation in key market segments while stimulating the creation and preservation of affordable rental housing."

CMHC is Canada's only mortgage loan insurer for multi-unit residential properties. CMHC also offers incentives, including access to higher loan-to-value ratios and reduced premiums, to support affordable rental housing projects.

As Canada's authority on housing, CMHC contributes to the stability of the housing market and financial system, provides support for Canadians in housing need and offers objective housing research and information to Canadian governments, consumers and the housing industry.

For additional highlights please see the attached backgrounder.

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BACKGROUNDER

  • Multi-unit mortgage loan insurance provides access to preferred mortgage rates helping to lower the cost of financing for the construction, purchase and refinancing of rental properties and facilitates renewals throughout the life of the mortgage.

  • As at September 30, 2016, CMHC multi-unit mortgage loan insurance accounted for approximately 12% of its overall insurance-in-force.

  • The changes apply to CMHC insured loans for 5 or more unit residential properties including standard apartments, student housing, single room occupancy (SRO) projects, retirement homes, and supportive housing projects.

Effective May 15, CMHC will be:

  • Extending its affordable housing flexibilities to existing rental properties, including Social Housing projects with up to 5 years remaining in the Operating Agreement, to support the preservation of existing affordable housing. Previously, affordable housing flexibilities were only available for new rental properties.

  • Expanding its definition of affordability to recognize federal, provincial, territorial or municipal housing objectives. The new affordability criteria also aligns with other CMHC initiatives and is intended to incent housing developers into the affordable rental housing market.

  • Introducing greater underwriting flexibilities to better support key multi-unit market segments that address the rental housing needs of Canadians including standard apartments, student housing, single room occupancy (SRO) projects, retirement homes, and supportive housing projects. Greater underwriting flexibility is provided surrounding non-residential space, furnished suites and bulk leases, amortization periods, off-campus student housing, second mortgages, non-recourse lending and personal guarantee requirements.

  • Introducing a revised premium schedule aligned with CMHC's continued participation in market segments that address the rental needs of Canadians, and is reflective of the risks associated with those segments. The revised premium schedule also supports the expansion and preservation of affordable housing units. Premium surcharges will no longer be collected for construction advances, release of rental achievement holdback, student housing or retirement homes.

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