CMHC announces new help for self-employed home buyers

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Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation is to give lenders more guidance and flexibility to help self-employed homeowners.

As part of the National Housing Strategy, CMHC’s plan aims to support those whose income can be variable or less predictable and restrict their ability to obtain a mortgage.

This is a sizeable sector of the population (15%) and CMHC notes that they are key contributors to the economy and communities.

The changes being made are:

  • Providing examples of factors that can be used to support the lender’s decision to lend to self-employed borrowers who have been operating their business for less than 24 months, or in the same line of work for less than 24 months such as acquiring an established business, sufficient cash reserves, predictable earnings and previous training and education; and
  • Providing a broader range of documentation options to increase flexibility for satisfying income and employment requirements when qualifying self-employed borrowers such as the Notice of Assessment (NOA) accompanied by the T1 General, the CRA Proof of Income Statement and the Statement of Business or Professional Activities (T2125) to support an “add back” approach for grossing up income for sole proprietorship and partnerships.

“Self-employed Canadians represent a significant part of the Canadian workforce. These policy changes respond to that reality by making it easier for self-employed borrowers to obtain CMHC mortgage loan insurance and benefit from competitive interest rates,” said Romy Bowers, CMHC chief commercial officer.

The changes come into effect from October 1, 2018.