Understanding the First-Time Home Buyer Incentive (FTHBI): A Comprehensive Guide

The First-Time Home Buyer Incentive (FTHBI) is a program introduced by the Government of Canada to assist qualified first-time homebuyers. This blog post provides an in-depth look into how the FTHBI works, its benefits, and the application process.

What is the FTHBI?

The FTHBI is a shared-equity mortgage with the Government of Canada designed to reduce the monthly mortgage payments for first-time homebuyers without increasing their financial burden. The incentive offers 5% for the purchase of a resale home or a new or resale mobile/manufactured home, and 5% or 10% for the purchase of a newly constructed home.

Key Features of the FTHBI

  • Shared Equity Mortgage: The government shares in both the property's upside and downside.
  • Non-Interest Bearing: The incentive is a second mortgage that is not interest-bearing.
  • Repayment: Repayment is required after 25 years or when the home is sold, whichever comes first.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Your total annual qualifying income should not exceed $120,000 (or $150,000 for Toronto, Vancouver, and Victoria CMAs).
  • Your total borrowing is no more than 4 times your qualifying income (or 4.5 times for Toronto, Vancouver, and Victoria CMAs).
  • You are a Canadian citizen, permanent resident or non-permanent resident authorized to work in Canada
  • You or your partner must be a first-time homebuyer.
  • You meet the minimum down payment requirements with traditional funds.

The type of home you plan to purchase plays a factor. The table indicates the type of home that qualifies for the incentive and how much of an incentive it may be eligible to receive.


New Construction

5% or 10%

Existing Home


New and existing mobile/manufactured home


Application Process

  • Pre-Approval: Get pre-approved for a mortgage and find a suitable home.
  • Forms Submission: Fill out the FTHBI application forms and submit them to your lender.

FTHBI - SEM Information Package (PDF) 

SEM Attestation and Consent Form (PDF) 

Repayment Details

  • The incentive must be repaid in full either after 25 years or when the home is sold.
  • Repayment amount is based on the market value of the home at the time of repayment.

Repayment Document (PDF)

Program Timeline

  • Launch Date: September 2019
  • The deadline for new or updated submissions for the First-Time Home Buyer Incentive is midnight ET on March 21, 2024.
  • Deadline: No new approvals after March 31, 2024.

Benefits of the FTHBI

  • Lower monthly mortgage payments.
  • No ongoing repayments are required until the time comes to repay the incentive.
  • Helps to make homeownership more affordable for first-time buyers.

Important to note:

The Incentive may be associated with additional costs:

  • Additional legal fees: Your lawyer is closing 2 mortgages so you may be charged higher fees.
  • Appraisal fees: To repay your incentive, you may need to have an appraisal done to determine the fair market value of your home.
  • Other fees: Additional fees may be incurred throughout the life cycle of the incentive, like switching your first mortgage to a new lender or refinancing your first mortgage.
  • Property Insurance premiums: Additional costs may be incurred to account for an additional mortgage registered on the property. Talk to your insurance broker or insurance provider to find out more details.


The FTHBI is a valuable program for Canadians looking to purchase their first home. By understanding the features, eligibility criteria, and application process, prospective homebuyers can take advantage of this incentive to achieve their homeownership goals.

For more detailed information, visit placetocallhome.ca.

Remember to consult with a mortgage professional or financial advisor to discuss your specific situation and to ensure you have the most current information regarding the FTHBI program.

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