On the eve of a provincial election, we decide to look at all the ways the current government helps homeowners fund different renovation projects. While this might change in the next few weeks, it’ good to be informed about what you can do with the help of government funding.
There are different grants, programs and incentives offered by your local and provincial governments that can help to cut costs when it comes to renovating your Toronto home.
GST/HST New Housing Rebate Program
Have you completed significant renovations to your home? Have you hired a contractor to construct a new build for you? Or have you hired a contractor and design team to substantially renovate your existing home? If so, you may qualify for the GST/HST New Housing Rebate.
The GST/HST New Housing Rebate lets individuals, who met all of the specified conditions, recover some of the goods and services tax or the federal part of the harmonized sales tax paid for a new or substantially renovated house. Note, that the house must be used as the individual’s primary place of residence to qualify for this program.
Home Energy Loan Program (HELP)
The Home Energy Loan Program (HELP) is a program run by the city of Toronto. Through HELP, homeowners can qualify to receive a low-interest loan of up to $75,000 to cover the cost of home energy improvements like:
High-efficiency furnaces/boilers/air conditioners
High-efficiency water heaters
Rooftop solar PV panels
Solar hot water systems
Drain-water heat recovery systems
HELP aims to make it easy for homeowners to avoid the upfront costs associated with renovations by providing interest rates as low as 2% and terms of up to 15 years. It also gives homeowners access to up to $2,250 in incentives from utility companies.
You can hire the contractor of your choice once funding is approved and complete the renovations as you so choose.
Green Ontario Fund
The Green Ontario Fund is a not-for-profit agency that is helping Ontarians reduce their greenhouse gas pollution. Using programs and rebates, they are helping people affect change when it comes to climate change. Their programs help to reduce energy use and also help Ontarians save money in the process.
A few of their current programs that allow homeowners to save money on potential renovations include:
Receive up to $20,000 for a geothermal, ground source heat pump
Get rebates of up to $7,200 for insulation
Get $5,000 for installing select high-performance windows
Get a $100 rebate for installing a smart thermostat
Get up to $5,000 back for making efficiency upgrades throughout your whole home
Renovating for a senior or person with a disability?
There are a few different programs that can help to fund a home renovation for a senior or a person with a disability that you should be aware of. These programs can help to make it easier to afford to make renovations that will make homes more livable for senior citizens and people with disabilities.
Senior Homeowners' Property Tax Grant: If you're a low-to-moderate income senior, you may be eligible for up to $500 back on your property taxes.
The Home and Vehicle Modification Program: Provides home or vehicle modifications to eligible individuals and families to enable children and adults with disabilities that restrict mobility to continue living safely in their homes.
Provincial Land Tax Deferral Program for Low-Income Seniors and Low-Income Persons with Disabilities: Low-income seniors and low-income persons with disabilities can get a partial deferral of provincial land tax and education tax.
Eco-Roof Incentive Program
Installing a green or cool roof can help you save energy, which in turn helps you to save on energy costs. But you might be wondering, what is a green roof or a cool roof?
A green roof “supports the growth of vegetation and consists of a waterproofing membrane, drainage layer, organic growing medium (soil), and vegetation.” A cool roof actually “reflects the sun’s rays and reduces heat build-up through a coating applied over an existing roof system, or a new single-ply waterproofing membrane.”
There are many benefits to eco-roofs beyond saving you money on your energy bills. They also reduce greenhouse gas emissions, reduce urban heat and improve air quality.
Currently, the Eco-Roof Incentive Program is offering support to Toronto homeowners who install either a green or a cool roof on their Toronto homes. For a green roof, the program offers up to $100/square metre of roofing installed, plus up to $1,000 for a structural assessment. They also offer $2-$5/square metre for cool roof installation.