Clarien Bank and the Bermuda Housing Corporation [BHC] announced they are to “partner in an innovative new programme to enable more Bermudians to own their own homes.”
“Under the HomeStart programme, Clarien is making $25 million worth of new mortgages available with up to 100% financing available to existing BHC tenants or clients who are able to make repayments but lack the necessary funds for a 25% down payment,” the announcement said.
“BHC will guarantee the top 25% of each individual loan between 75% and 100% made by the Bank. Properties currently under the control of Clarien as well as select BHC-owned properties will be made available for purchase under the new initiative.
“First time home buyers will have the opportunity to purchase the properties in ‘as is’ condition at a more attractive cost or allow the Bank to refurbish to an acceptable standard.
“Mortgages will be up to 30 years [subject to age criteria] and although Clarien has recently announced a base rate increase it will honour its previous mortgage rate of 6.50%, less a discount of 0.325%, through 2017 for HomeStart loans.
“Applicants will be pre-screened by BHC and must be Bermudian and not previously have owned or have partial ownership in a home. Trusts and other forms of ownership will not be eligible.”
Major Barrett Dill, General Manager, Bermuda Housing Corporation; Andrea Proctor, Senior Mortgage Lender, Clarien Bank; Francis Richardson, Permanent Secretary, Public Works; Craig Cannonier, Minister of Public Works; Ian Truran, CEO, Clarien Bank; Karen Brown, Head of Lending, Clarien Bank.
Ian Truran, CEO of Clarien Bank, commented: “We are delighted to be part of this initiative, which we hope will put home ownership within realistic reach of more Bermudians.
“Finding the money for that 25% down payment is what puts home ownership beyond so many hard-working and deserving people – even though they are more than capable of making the mortgage repayments.
“Owning your own home is a source of pride and security for a family and we hope that through this programme, more Bermudians will have that opportunity. It is in the spirit of what ourselves and the BHC are trying to achieve that will be waiving our normal fee on mortgages arranged under this scheme as well as providing a discounted mortgage rate.
“HomeStart very much reflects our values and broader responsibility as a local company to the community we serve, as shown through the Clarien Foundation’s support of many local charities, and our annual Holiday GiveBack Programme which has raised more than $84,000 for Meals on Wheels. We believe that a broader home ownership base promotes economic stability and social responsibility for the Island.”
Major Barrett Dill, General Manager of BHC, stated: “The Corporation has been diligently working on finding solutions to the recent challenging state of the local residential Real Estate market and welcomes this partnership with Clarien Bank.
“It is our hope that this joint venture will help positively stimulate the real estate sector as Bermuda continues the recovery from the devastating effects of the economic recession of past years.
“Our stated mission is to provide accessibility to adequate, affordable housing and promote independent living to enhance the quality of life in Bermuda; therefore we gratefully salute Clarien’s innovative approach to putting Bermudians into Bermudian homes.”
Craig Cannonier, Minister of Public Works, commented: “Home ownership, for some Bermudians, is something which may have seemed simply unobtainable previously. Now, thanks to this partnership between BHC and Clarien, owning one’s own home can be a dream realised for many.
“I am grateful to both parties for the amount of time and effort they put into coming to this arrangement and I can only imagine the joy this project will bring into the lives of so many who now have the chance to own a ‘piece of the rock’.”