An Ontario engineering firm has adopted a unique way to attract and retain talent: by offering all of their employees $20,000 for a down payment on their first home.
In late June, C.F. Crozier & Associates Inc. announced the launch of their First-Time Home Buyers’ Assistance Program in an effort to help employees afford to buy a home in an overheated real estate market.
“We established the First-Time Home Buyers’ Assistance Program as a creative way to help make homeownership a reality for our employees because we strongly believe that their personal growth is as important as their career growth,” Nick Mocan, Crozier’s president, said in a press release.
According to the company, the program was inspired by the federal government’s Home Buyers’ Plan and is “designed to address the evolving needs of employees and help remove the barriers to homeownership.”
Some of those barriers include rising housing prices that saw the national average jump 38 percent in May 2021 from the same time last year, according to the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA).
The national average home price is forecast to rise by 19 percent on an annual basis to just over $677,775 in 2021, the CREA said in its most recent quarterly forecast.
In the Simcoe County region of Ontario, which includes the town of Collingwood where the Crozier headquarters is located, housing prices increased by 40 percent year over year in May 2021.
“We have seen first-hand the increasing demand for residential development and the frustrating situations our employees find themselves in, such as extreme bidding wars when trying to buy their first home in today’s market,” Mocan said.
The company, which develops residential and commercial land, is hoping its homebuyers’ incentive will attract talent for the 34 job openings at its locations in Collingwood, Milton, Bradford, and Toronto.
“The First-Time Home Buyers’ Assistance Program is part of Crozier’s ongoing investment to enhance the employee experience and establish the firm as an industry leader championing professional and personal development,” the company said.
“Crozier also offers various scholarships and mentorship initiatives to foster employee development and support the company’s ongoing expansion.”
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