Step-by-Step Process for Building your own House

We have outlined a 10 step process on how to build your own home

We have outlined the process for applying for a Private Housing Subsidy below:

(This step-by-step process is for illustrative purposes only; it does not constitute legal advice. Please seek qualified advice)

Step 1: Meet your Community Housing Administrator

Meet your community Housing Administrator to discuss your eligibility for a subsidy under the Community Private Housing Initiative. At the same time, you can obtain an application form that you can fill out and review the next steps and documentation required to complete the application process.

Your community Housing Administrator can assist you with the application form and the required documents. He/she can also assist you with any other step of the process.

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Step 2: Budget and Financing

Determine your budget and meet with a financial institution to discuss the best options and conditions to finance the construction of your house (unless you have sufficient funds of your own).

  • How much the financial institution will lend you depends on the value of the house and your capacity to repay the loan, which depends largely on your financial situation and annual income.
  • If you qualify for a loan, the financial institution will give you a letter of commitment. The loan may be subject to conditions including having a down payment and/or obtaining a subsidy under the new Program.

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Step 3: Find a Lot

Meet with your local Land Director or the person responsible for the allocation of lots in your community to find a suitable lot to build your house, and request a perpetual grant and agreement of superficie (i.e. a perpetual land right to use your lot and build a house on it).

You will need to conclude with your Cree Local Government a perpetual grant and agreement of superficie for residential purposes to enable you to build and own your house. By the same agreement, the Cree Local Government will consent to your waiver of the seizure exemption to enable you to grant a hypothec (mortgage) to your financial institution, as applicable.

Your community Housing Administrator can assist you with this step and facilitate your request to obtain a perpetual grant and agreement of superficie from your Cree Local Government.

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Step 4: Contractor and Plans

Select an RBQ-licensed contractor and discuss options to build a house within your budget.

  • The contractor may have some models with plans & specs that can be adapted to your needs. You can also ask an architect to design custom plans & specs.
  • Negotiate and reach agreement with the contractor on plans & specs and the terms and conditions to build your house, including timeline and price, and get from him:
  • A signed letter of commitment to guarantee these terms and conditions, and
  • An undertaking that he will comply with building codes and laws, and obtain the required construction permits.

Ask your community Housing Administrator for a model letter of commitment.

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Step 5: Finalize Documentation

Meet your community Housing Administrator again, this time to finalize your application and documentation.

  • The Housing Administrator will review your application and documents and will fill out a checklist to make sure that your file is complete.
  • If your file is complete and you meet all the conditions, you will be entitled to a subsidy, which will be sent directly to the Notary to pay the contractor – see Step 8 below.
  • The Housing Administrator will ask that you sign:
    • A contribution agreement for your subsidy, and
    • A perpetual grant and agreement of superficie for your new lot.
  • If you need a loan from a financial institution, you will also sign a waiver of seizure exemption, which will be appended to your grant and agreement of superficie (this will enable the financial institution to seize your house and resell it to another Cree if you fail to make your loan payments).

The contribution agreement that you will sign contains the terms and conditions for your subsidy, including an obligation to reimburse your subsidy, or a part of it, if you were to sell, transfer or lease your house to a non-Cree within the first ten years (or within the first 20 years for Cree Local Governments or development corporations).

Make sure to read and understand the terms and conditions of your contribution agreement and grant and agreement of superficie. Ask your community Housing Administrator if you have any questions.

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Step 6: Finalize Bank Loan

Meet with the financial institution again, this time to finalize and sign your loan agreement. You should bring along:

  • Copies of the signed contribution agreement (as proof of your subsidy), grant and agreement of superficie and waiver of seizure exemption, as well as other requested documentation (e.g. identification, proof of income, arrangements with contractor).

You will need home insurance – the bank may offer options, and otherwise, you may purchase home insurance through a broker of your choice.

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Step 7: Notary

The Notary will contact you when they receive instructions from your financial institution to finalize and sign your hypothec (or mortgage, i.e. using the house to secure the repayment of the loan to the bank). You will need to pay the legal fees of the Notary.

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Step 8: Construction

Meet the contractor again, this time to sign a contract and finalize all arrangements to build your house.

  • Send a copy of the signed contract to your financial institution so they know when disbursements are expected.

The Notary will begin paying the contractor using your subsidy and your bank loan so building can start.

The contractor should inform you and the Local Housing Inspector upon completion of each construction phase in order to prepare progress reports: (i) foundation, (ii) structure and insulation, (iii) electrical and mechanical; and (iv) final completion.

Progress reports must be sent to your financial institution so that the Notary can continue to pay the contractor throughout the construction.  The Notary will verify that suppliers, sub-contractors and workers are paid.

The Notary will hold back the last disbursement until the contractor has fully paid everyone involved in the construction of your house.

When construction is complete, your financial institution may require an appraisal report to determine the real value of the house. You will need to pay the appraisal fees.

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Step 9: Registration

The Local Land Registrar in your community will ensure that your grant and agreement of superficie and the hypothec (mortgage) on your house are registered in the Cree Land Registry System.

Your community Housing Administrator is there to answer any questions you may have and to assist you with this step if you need.

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Step 10: Move into your New Home!

As a new homeowner, you will be responsible to:

  • Maintain your house in good shape (all upkeep, repairs, decoration, landscaping, etc.),
  • Pay all user charges, electricity, heating bills, etc.,
  • Take out and keep home insurance, and
  • Make loan payments to the bank each month until full repayment of your mortgage loan.

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