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The First Place program gives first-time homeowners who meet the program’s eligibility criteria deferred land costs for 5-years.

The First Place Program teams with banks and builders to develop vacant surplus school building sites into attractive town homes. The homes are market priced, with a 5 year deferral on the land portion of the mortgage, making them more accessible to first time home buyers.

Getting Started

Eligibility

Applicants must be:

  • Able to obtain pre-approved financing
    • recommended down payment of 5%, up to 25 year mortgage amortization
    • can be obtained with help of co-signer
  • First-time homebuyers in Alberta
  • The full-time occupants and residents of the condominium unit for the first 5 years
  • $25,000 or less in personal net worth
    • excluding a primary vehicle, RRSPs and mortgage down payment
  • A Canadian citizen or have permanent resident status
  • Employed with a combined household income of less than $117,000
Apply

All interested Canadian citizens who meet the eligibility criteria can apply. There is no application process with the City. Those interested in participating can:

  • Contact the builder developing available listings
  • Contact your financial institution or a lending institution familiar with the First Place Program

You may use a co-signer to obtain mortgage approval from a lender. Mortgage co-signers don’t have to meet the qualifications, be full-time occupants and meet income and net worth criteria.

Lending Institutions

Talk to your bank to determine:

  • How much of a mortgage you qualify for
  • Payment amounts and insurance options
  • CMHC/Genworth premiums and savings
  • First Place Program and mortgage financing portion
  • How to coordinate with a builder 

You may contact any Canadian financial institution.

These lenders have been involved in initial developments and discussions, and are most familiar with the program.

ATB Financial

Cyndi Strasbourg
Phone: 780-975-1235
Email: cstrasbourg@atb.com
 
Breanna Rantucci
Phone: 780-918-0732
Email: Brantucci@atb.com

BMO Financial Group

Harjinder Sandhu
Phone: 780-884-2240
Email: harjinder.sandhu@bmo.com

Franca Saporito
Phone: 780-231-2499
Email: franca.saporito@bmo.com

Servus Credit Union

Liana Dien
Phone: 780-918-0888
Email: liana.dien@servus.ca

Stephanie MacMillan
Phone: 587-876-8451
Email: stephanie.macmillan@servus.ca

Land Cost Deferral

After 5-years the owner must pay the City the total amount of the deferred land costs. The 5-year deferral on land costs provides assistance to owners in reducing costs and building equity.

The 5-year deferral on the land portion and the associated buy back agreement must be registered on the certificate of title. While the applicant's first mortgage financing may be registered in priority to the City's caveats regarding the 5-year deferral and the associated buy back agreement, the City will not consent to the applicant registering any other encumbrances or mortgages in priority to such caveats.

Early Withdrawal

Circumstances can arise that require buyers to sell their homes before the 5-year deferral period on land costs has finished. The City will work with these individuals to accommodate these circumstances, where appropriate, allowing them to pay out the deferred land payment earlier than expected.

To withdraw from the First Place program email firstplace@edmonton.ca and include:

  • Full address including postal code
  • Name(s) of the property owners shown on the Certificate of Title registered at Land Titles
  • Email address of the property owner
  • Reason for early departure from the program

The City will review the information and advise on next steps. If approved the City will provide a confirmation letter and request the property owner(s) sign and return the form/letter confirming their terms consent to the City’s terms for release.

The full amount due for the deferred land costs (including GST if applicable) will be due according to the terms expressed in the City’s letter.

Early Withdrawal Process

First Time Home Buyers Tax Credit

To assist first-time homebuyers with home purchase costs, the Government of Canada offers a FTHP Tax Credit - a $5,000 non-refundable income tax credit amount on a qualifying home. The credit will provide up to $750 in federal tax relief for an eligible individual.

Five-year Land Cost Deferral

The program gives owners who are eligible a 5-year deferral on land costs. Owners pay for the cost of the unit, condominium fees, taxes and utility costs.

Purchaser 

Town homes are registered as condominium units. The purchaser owns the interior space of their town house and a portion of public space in the development.

Property Management

Condominiums are managed by a property management company accountable to a condominium Board of Directors. The property management company is responsible for the general maintenance and upkeep of the building structure, grounds and internal roadway.

Available Locations

20 school sites in 19 neighbourhoods were declared surplus in 2006 and have been designated by City Council for the First Place Program. As of August 2019, 15 of the 20 First Place program sites had been developed.

Rohit Communities and Landmark Group develop properties for this program.

First Place program opportunities do not extend to all new condominium townhouse projects under construction in Edmonton, only to those on approved sites and with approved builders.

Belle Rive

Listing Information

The town homes will be developed on the 1.6 ha of land. The 12.11 ha of open space surrounding the housing development will be retained by the City and continue to serve sports, recreation and community uses as identified in the original neighbourhood structure plan.

Belle Rive Map

Design Engagement

In 2006, City Council approved the building site at 16350 82 Street in Belle Rive for development under the First Place program.

4 community members were selected to work with the builder to help design the homes, ensuring they fit with the surrounding neighbourhood. This included input on design elements; building orientation and shape, number of homes, roof lines, site access, vistas, exterior home design details and landscaping.

The builder will apply for a development permit application based on the design engagement committee’s final design plans. Construction will start when the design engagement process is complete.

What We Heard - May 2015

Meeting Notes

Meeting 1 - May 16, 2017
Meeting 2 - July 5, 2017
Meeting 3 - Dec 13, 2017

Bulyea Heights

Listing Information

The town homes will be developed on the 1.64 ha of land. The remaining 8.60 ha of open space surrounding the housing development will be retained by the City and continue to serve sports, recreation and community uses as identified in the original neighbourhood structure plan.

Bulyea Heights Map

All new home buyers will be required to be Homeowner Association members.

Design Engagement

The design engagement process started in December 2016 and is now complete.

What We Heard - February 2015

In 2006, City Council approved the building site at 300 Bulyea Road in Bulyea Heights for development under the First Place program. The other site in Bulyea Heights was designated for seniors housing.

City Council Public Hearing - April 18, 2016 (Item 3.6)

10 community members were selected to work with the builder to help design the homes and ensuring they fit with the surrounding neighbourhood. This included input on design elements; building orientation, number of homes, massing and roof lines, site access, vistas, exterior home design details and landscaping.

Meeting Notes

Project Integration Meeting 5 - April 27, 2017
Project Integration Meeting 4 - April 4, 2017
Design Engagement Meeting 3 - March 31, 2017
Design Engagement Meeting 2 - January 23, 2017
Design Engagement Meeting 1 - December 08, 2016
Meeting - April 18, 2017

Kirkness

Listing Information

The town homes will be developed on the 1.4 ha of land. The remaining 11.46 ha of open space surrounding the housing development will be retained by the City and continue to serve sports, recreation and community uses as identified in the original neighbourhood structure plan.

Kirkness Map

Design Engagement

In 2006, City Council approved the building site at 3015 151 Avenue in Kirkness for development into town homes under the City’s First Place program.

The community design engagement process provided an opportunity for the Hairsine Community league and Kirkness community members to meet with the builder and discuss elements ensuring they fit with the existing communities. This included; orientation, massing and rooflines, access, vistas and design details.

Meeting 3 - July 2015

Meeting Minutes
Final Building Layouts
Final Elevation and Renderings
Home Pictures

Meeting 2 - June 2015

Meeting Minutes
Building Layouts
Landscape Concepts
Elevations and 3-D

Meeting 1 - June 2015

Meeting Minutes
Building Layouts
Alternative Layouts 

Larkspur

Listing Information

The town homes will be developed on part of land that was set aside for a school building. The remaining open space surrounding the housing development will be retained by the City and continue to serve sports, recreation and community uses as identified in the original neighbourhood structure plan.

Larkspur Map

Design Engagement

In 2006, City Council approved the building site at 2845 43A Avenue on Larkspur for development into town homes under the City’s First Place program.

The community design engagement process provided an opportunity for the Community league and Kernohan community members to meet with the builder and discuss elements to help ensure the development was a good fit. Topics included orientation, massing and rooflines, access, vistas and design details.

Meeting Notes

Meeting 3 - February 16, 2015
Meeting 2 - November 11, 2014
Meeting 1 - October 16, 2014

Michaels Park - Future

Michaels Park is home to 3 sites for the First Place Program: 2 Council-approved sites and 1 alternative site.

Michaels Park Map

Upcoming Public Engagement

Twin Brooks

Listing Information

The town homes will be developed on the 0.8 ha of land that was previously set aside for a Catholic elementary school building. The remaining 6.57 ha of open space surrounding the housing development will be retained by the City and continue to serve sports, recreation and community uses as identified in the original neighbourhood structure plan.

Twin Brooks Map

Design Engagement

What We Heard - January 19, 2018

In 2006, the vacant school building site at 11341-12 Avenue in Twin brooks was approved by City Council for development into town homes under the City's First Place Program.

7 community members were selected through an open application process held in December 2016 worked with the builder to help design the new homes and ensure they are a good fit with the surrounding neighbourhood. This included providing input on design elements, such as building orientation, number of homes, massing and roof lines, site access, vistas, and exterior home design details and landscaping.

Meeting Notes

Meeting 4 - July 27, 2017
Meeting 3 - May 25, 2017
Meeting 2 - April 20, 2017
Meeting 1 - March 21, 2017

Potential Future Developments

Dunluce

Dunluce has 2 surplus school sites between Dunluce Road and 162 Avenue. 1 site (shown in blue) was approved by City Council for First Place housing in 2006. The other site (shown in yellow) was developed as medium density housing, ranging from townhouses to low-rise apartment buildings under the City's Building Housing Choices (BHC) program.

Dunluce Map

Design Engagement

There was opportunity for residents to provide input into the design. At the end of 2017, the City recruited residents to work with the builder, Landmark Homes, to help ensure the homes are a good fit with the surrounding community. This provided input on design elements, such as building orientation, number of homes, massing and rooflines, site access, vistas and exterior home design details and landscaping.

Meeting Notes - April 16, 2016

Implementation Timeline
Building Site Map
First Place Backgrounder
Design Engagement Process

Sifton Park

The Sifton Park site at 13404 43 Street was approved by City Council for First Place housing in 2006.

Sifton Park Map

Environmental site assessment (ESA) and Soil testing on the site is complete. Residents of Sifton Park will be informed about all opportunities for public engagement.

As of August 22, 2016, City Council approved Sifton Park rezoning application (Bylaw 17724) and rezoned the parcels west of the First Place program building site and school from CS3 to AP, which reflects the existing parks and sport fields and is consistent with the site plan.

City Council Public Hearing - August 22, 2016 (Item 3.1)

Skyrattler

The Skyrattler site at 1055 Saddleback Road was approved by City Council for First Place housing in 2006.

City Council - November 14, 2013
Skyrattler Map

In response to the 2014 motion passed by City Council, the City is investigating alternative site locations.

Executive Committee - April 12, 2016 (Item 6.5)
Executive Committee - February 18, 2014 (Item 7.1)

There were 2 potential alternative site locations being investigated:

In 2017 the Taylor College site was removed from further consideration. The alternative site at 119 Street NW and 23 Avenue NW is being reviewed to determine whether it is feasible for development. If the alternative site is determined to not be feasible for development of a First Place Program site, design engagement and development will proceed on the original Council-approved building site at 1055 Saddleback Road.

Completed Developments

Bearspaw

In 2006, the vacant school building site at 1404 105 Street in Bearspaw was declared surplus by local school boards and approved by City Council for development into town homes under the City’s First Place program.

Bearspaw Map

Design Engagement

The community design engagement process provided an opportunity for the community league and Bearspaw community members to meet with the builder and discuss elements to help ensure the development was a good fit within the existing community – including orientation, building shape, roof design, site access, look and design details.

Meeting 3 - April 28, 2014 (14MB)
Meeting 2 - April 14, 2014 (12MB)
Meeting 1 - March 10, 2014 (11MB)

Blue Quill

2 vacant school building sites in Blue Quill on 112 Street, between Saddleback Road and 25 Avenue, have been declared surplus to school needs by local school boards. One site has been approved by City Council for seniors’ housing, and the other has been approved for development into town homes under the City’s First Place program.

Blue Quill Map

What We Heard - February 2015

Design Engagement

The design engagement process provided an opportunity for the Community league and Blue Quill community members to meet with the builder and discuss elements to help ensure the development was a good “fit” within the existing community – including orientation, massing and roof lines, access, vistas and design details.

Meeting 3 - April 6, 2016

Agenda
Meeting Minutes 
Final Site Plan
Final Landscaping Plan
Entrance Feature
3D Views
Elevation

Meeting 2 - March 17, 2016

Meeting Minutes 
Design Package
Site map with Sports Fields

Meeting 1 - February 24, 2016

Meeting Information (7MB)
Meeting Minutes

Caernarvon

Caernarvon had 2 surplus school sites, 1 approved by City Council for First Place housing, the other for seniors’ housing. Both sites are on 121 Street south of 153 Avenue.

Caernarvon Map

The First Place show home was opened in 2014 after the public open house and the builder’s design engagement was complete.

The town homes have a federal EnerGuide rating averaging 84, just one step below the top category of energy-efficient housing. Annual energy costs for a typical 1,500 square feet house built in 2011 with an EnerGuide rating of 71 is about $1,500, compared to $900 for a home with a rating of 80.

Canon Ridge

Canon Ridge and Greenview were pilot sites developed for First Place housing. An independent consultant evaluated outcomes of the pilot in 2011.

Canon Ridge has 42 units built by Landmark Homes. The Greenview site has 43 units built by Rohit Communities. The builders were chosen for their expertise in consulting with the community on final design and "fit" of the developments.

Community stakeholders reported that the process was very successful and the projects were well integrated into their communities.

Casselman

The Casselman site at 5103 149 Avenue was approved by City Council for First Place housing in 2006.

Casselman Map

The show home opened in September 2014, after public engagement and the builder’s design engagement was complete. All First Place program homes in Casselman have been sold to first time buyers and the development is now complete.

Greenview

Greenview and Canon Ridge were pilot sites for First Place housing. An independent consultant evaluated outcomes of the pilot in 2011.

The Greenview site has 43 units built by Rohit Communities. Canon Ridge has 42 units built by Landmark Homes. The 2 builders were chosen in part for their expertise in consulting with the community on final design and "fit" of the developments. Community stakeholders reported that the process was very successful and the projects were well integrated into their communities.

Haddow

In 2006, the vacant school building site at 2137 Haddow Drive in Haddow was approved by City Council for development into town homes under the City’s First Place Program.

Haddow Map

The town homes were developed on the 0.8 ha of land that was previously set aside for a school building. The remaining 6.43 ha of open space surrounding the housing development were retained by the City and continue to serve sports, recreation and community uses as identified in the original neighbourhood structure plan.

The second vacant school building site in Haddow was reviewed by the Edmonton Public School Board (EPSB) in December 2015 and was not declared surplus. This building site will be held for the EPSB until the next review of vacant building sites. If EPSB were to declare the site surplus at that time, it would be offered to the Francophone and Catholic school boards before being considered for other uses.

Design Engagement

What We Heard - February 2015

The community design engagement process provided an opportunity for the Community league and Haddow community members to meet with the builder and discuss elements to help ensure the development was a good “fit” within the existing community – including orientation, massing and rooflines, access, vistas and design details.

Meeting 4 - May 2015

Meeting Minutes
Final Aerial Photo Site Plan

Meeting 3 - April 2015

Meeting Minutes

Meeting 2 - March 2015

Meeting Minutes
Aerial Photo of Site Plan

Meeting 1 - February 2015

Meeting Minutes
Aerial Photo of Site Plan
Design Options 

Kernohan

In 2006, the vacant school building site in Kernohan at 311 Clareview Road was approved by City Council for development into town homes under the City’s First Place program.

Kernohan

The town homes were developed on the portion of land that was previously set aside for a school building. The remaining open space surrounding the housing development will be retained by the City and continue to serve sports, recreation and community uses as identified in the original neighbourhood structure plan.

Design Engagement

The community design engagement process provided an opportunity for the Community league and Kernohan community members to meet with the builder and discuss elements to help ensure the development was a good “fit” within the existing community – including orientation, massing and roof lines, access, vistas and design details.

Tawa

The Tawa site at 140 Youville Drive was approved by City Council for First Place housing in 2006. The showhome opened in spring 2014 following a public open house and the builder’s design engagement process.

The design engagement process provided an opportunity for community volunteers to discuss design elements that helped ensure the development was a good "fit" within the existing community.

For More Information

First Place Homes

Telephone

In Edmonton: 311
Outside Edmonton: 780-442-5311

Email firstplace@edmonton.ca

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