The Government of Alberta offers the Public Essential and Key (PEAK) Program, which helps low-income earners with a down payment on their first home. The PEAK Program achieves this by providing applicants with a second mortgage for the down payment of their home, up to a maximum of 5% of the purchase price. This second mortgage is interest free for the first five years. Interest will start to accrue after the initial five year period. Repayment is not needed until the home is sold. After three years, PEAK participants retain all of the equity in their home.
To qualify for the PEAK program, you must have a household income less than $80,000 per year, or $90,000 if you have children living at home. You must have the ability to be pre-approved for a five-year fixed mortgage, and you must not be able to afford a 5% down payment. Since 2009, the PEAK Program has helped 111 individuals and families.
The City of Edmonton's First Place Program provides a five-year deferral on land costs for first-time home buyers on select properties. These properties are town homes on redeveloped vacant school sites by select builders. Current developments eligible for the First Place Program include Belle Rive, Kirkness, and Michaels Park. Applicants must also have a combined household income less than $117,000.
Attainable Homes Calgary helps home buyers purchase a home with a down payment of only $2,000. The program then loans you the rest of the down payment, with no interest on the loan. In exchange, the AHC program takes a portion of your home's appreciation. This starts from 100% of the home's appreciation in the first year of ownership, to 25% after five years of home ownership.