New loan program aims to help Kingston homeowners with energy retrofits

Commissioner Peter Huigenbos of the City of Kingston, Chris Boivin, Managing Director of the Green Municipal Fund for the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, and Kingston City Councillor Mary Rita Holland at the launch of Better Homes Kingston, a new property-loan program for Kingston homeowners aimed at energy efficiency, according to the announcement. Photo via the City of Kingston.

Homeowners in the Kingston area now have access to a property-loan program that will help residents make their homes more efficient.

The City of Kingston, in partnership with the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, celebrated the launch of Better Homes Kingston today, Monday, Apr 11, 2022. The program, which was announced in January, is part of a $15 million investment in the City’s Home Energy Retrofit Program.

“Energy retrofits increase the efficiency of a home, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and make that dwelling more comfortable by regulating temperature, air moisture, and more. But we know that the upfront cost of these renovations can deter a lot of people from acting and making these positive changes,” said City Councillor Mary Rita Holland, at the program’s launch event held in the Kingscourt neighbourhood.

“Better Homes Kingston will tear down barriers to build a more sustainable community,” Holland added. 

Better Homes Kingston is a local improvement charge (LIC) financing program that will assist homeowners with interest-free loans to renovate their homes, according to a release from the City. Through the program, residents will have free access to an energy coach, who will help them determine and prioritize the most effective retrofits for their home and support them throughout the entire process.

Through the Better Homes Kingston Program, the City aims to help retrofit 20 to 50 per cent of single-family homes built before 1991, according to the release. Many of these homes can be found in older areas of the city, including Kingscourt, where the program launch was held. Residents who take advantage of this flexible, no-interest property loan can repay the amount over a period of up to 20 years or at any time without penalty.

Mark Gerretsen, member of Parliament for Kingston and the Islands, lauded the City of Kingston for their action on the climate emergency, and underlined how this federally supported program will have economic and environmental benefits.

The City said that several partners have provided their support for Better Homes Kingston including the Federation of Canadian Municipalities through the federally-funded Green Municipal Fund, which supports local innovation that can be replicated and scaled up across the country to tackle Canada’s climate challenges.

“Better Homes Kingston will create more good jobs in the energy and renovation sector, putting money in the hands of hardworking people and helping Kingstonians live in more comfortable and efficient homes.” Chris Boivin, Managing Director of the Green Municipal Fund and Chief Development Officer at the Federation of Canadian Municipalities added. “On behalf of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, we are proud to partner with the City of Kingston to provide a program that will help homeowners reduce their carbon footprint and help Canada meet its national climate goals.”

Learn more about Better Homes Kingston on the City’s website.

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