After years of economic pain, many Canadians are beginning to think twice about getting a mortgage in their lifetime.
The federal government announced a series of measures to address the global recession in its 2015 budget, including an overhaul of the tax system.
But a lot of the changes were meant to help Canadians who were struggling to pay off their mortgages.
Some people are still wondering if the changes will really help.
“It does seem that the government has taken on the burden of paying the bills, and it’s kind of like, I guess we’ve lost the battle, so what do we do?
And then you have these people that have no income at all, no credit card, no job, and yet still have to go to the banks and borrow money,” said Lisa Rolfe, a mortgage specialist in Vancouver.
Rolfe works with clients who are struggling to make ends meet and is a member of a mortgage insurance association.
She said the government is still trying to find the right balance of offering support and providing a pathway for people who are at the brink of defaulting on their mortgages.
“It’s been an incredible adjustment, but it’s been really tough to find ways to ease the burden on people who need it most,” she said.
Ralfe said she expects the new changes will help, but that the changes could still be temporary.
“I think they’re a temporary fix,” she told CBC News.
“They’re a little bit of a catch-22, where they can’t help everybody that needs help.
But they have to be able to help everybody.”
A number of measures are designed to help people who have recently experienced financial difficulty get their finances in order.
The government is also making it easier for people to apply for a mortgage.
The Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) will begin allowing new applicants to take advantage of the government’s loan forgiveness program.
The government is encouraging new applicants with outstanding debt to take out a home equity loan.
“If you’re an outstanding consumer that has been in default on your mortgage, and you’ve recently been in a hardship situation, the CMHC will help you access your home equity line of credit to help pay your mortgage,” CMHC said in a statement.CMHC is also encouraging borrowers to consider applying for a second mortgage, which is available for people with a mortgage or mortgage-related debt who have not yet been approved for the government-backed mortgage.
Some of the measures are aimed at helping Canadians who are financially stretched, but others are meant to make it easier to get a mortgage that pays off.