Home renovations: What financial assistance is available?

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Quebecers love to carry out renovations from attic to basement, but the work can sometimes be quite costly. Fortunately, there are a number of financial assistance programs that will alleviate the cost in all kinds of ways.

Updated on April 18th, 2019

Federal government

The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s (CMHC) Green Home program offers a premium refund of 15% to 25% to homeowners who renovate for energy efficiency using CMHC-insured financing. To obtain the refund, the dwelling is assessed by an energy-efficiency advisor from Natural Resources Canada before and after the work and must meet certain EnerGuide criteria.

Provincial government

In effect until March 31, 2021, the Rénoclimat program targets owners of single-family dwellings, duplexes and triplexes, as well as multi-unit residential buildings with 4 to 20 units. It aims to encourage renovation work that will lead to a reduction in energy use and greenhouse gas emissions. The financial assistance provided will partially cover expenses related to energy evaluations and renovation work, such as:

  • Up to $2,440 for improving the insulation of exterior walls
  • Up to $1,650 for improving the insulation of exterior walls
  • $650 for installing or replacing a heat pump;
  • Up to $490 for making your home more airtight;
  • And so on.

The RénoVert tax credit enables individuals carrying out eco-friendly home renovation work to qualify for a tax credit of up to $10,000 (or 20% of the portion of qualified expenditures that exceeds $2,500, paid after March 17, 2016 and before January 1, 2020). Moreover, the upgrading of residential waste water treatment systems may qualify for a tax credit up to a maximum of $5,500 per eligible dwelling.

The provincial government has also launched the Éconologis program, aimed at low-income families that want to improve the energy efficiency of their home—whether they own or rent it. This program allows households to take advantage of free individualized advice, minor work and even the installation of electronic thermostats. Check whether you are eligible.

Lastly, Québec offers the RénoRégion Program for homeowners living in rural areas and whose dwelling does not exceed $100,000 in value. This program finances up to 95% of the cost of the work (to a maximum of $12,000) to correct major defects involving one or more of the following components: exterior walls, openings, overhangs, roofing, structure, electricity, plumbing, heating and insulation.

Montréal

Montréal residents may take advantage of two programs, including the Major Residential Renovation program offered for renovations that cost $15,000 or more. To be eligible, the work must include the structure, foundation, electrical system, plumbing, cladding, or doors and windows. Depending on the surface area of the dwelling and the cost of the renovations, this program provides financial assistance of up to 40% of the cost of the work, to a maximum of $500,000.

For smaller jobs, the Ville de Montréal has set up the Renovation à la carte program aimed at repairing, renovating or replacing certain exterior and interior components of a single-family home or a residential building. It offers, for instance, $1,000 to fully renovate a bathroom, $200 to $300 to replace a main door, $160 to $200 to replace a window, $30 to $50 to replace a step in a staircase, and $65 per m2 to replace a floor or a balcony.

Québec City

Québec City has a financial assistance program (French only) that helps restore and renovate existing buildings in the historic districts of Québec City, Beauport, Sillery and Charlesbourg. This program provides a grant of up to $20,000 per dwelling, i.e., 50% of the maximum eligible cost of the work. The program for restoring buildings located in heritage districts (French only) also provides a grant of up to $25,000 per year for buildings constructed before 1955. Several other home improvement programs are also available to residents of Québec City (French only).

Laval

The Ville de Laval also offers a variety of renovation grant programs for the replacement of a fuel oil heating system (up to $1,000), the renovation and restoration of heritage buildings (up to $12,500), and for home adaptation projects for persons with disabilities (up to $16,000 per eligible person).

Elsewhere in Québec

Launched a few years ago, the Habitation Durable program is gaining ground and is now offered in Dixville, Plessisville, Ham-Sud, Petite-Rivière-Saint-François, Val-David, Saint-Valérien, Varennes and Victoriaville. It encourages renovations that promote energy efficiency, the use of sustainable materials, the conservation of drinking water, and the improvement of air quality, and provides a range of financial assistance depending on the municipality and type of work.

Numerous municipalities in the province of Québec participate in the Renovation Québec Program, which provides financial assistance for a variety of renovation projects for residential buildings or for the residential portion of dual-purpose buildings. For more information, contact your municipality or the Société habitation Québec (SHQ).

Launched as a pilot project in 2017 in Varennes, Verchères and Plessisville, the Association québécoise pour la maîtrise de l’énergie’s (AQME) FIME program (French only) supports eco-responsible residential renovations by providing professional support as well as loans at very reasonable rates (as low as 1% over a maximum of 20 years). In addition, the savings people generate through improved energy performance can be used to pay the loan back, in full or in part. Find out if your municipality participates in this program (under “Municipalités participantes”) (French only).

Many Québec municipalities also grant property tax “holidays” to homeowners who have work done on their homes (renovations, improving energy performance, etc.). And under certain conditions, the Québec government partially refunds the GST and the QST paid on a major renovation.

Private sector

Énergir offers several grants to its new customers, as well as to its existing customers, to help them purchase energy-efficient equipment. Énergir also offers its customers help implementing energy-efficiency measures to reduce their energy bill including a low-income household supplement.

Lastly, a number of financial institutions offer cashback—on an ad-hoc or on a regular basis—on mortgage loans taken out for renovations, as is the case with Desjardins and its Green Homes Program, which gives customers $500 cashback for green renovations.

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