Home Owner Grant for Seniors
The home owner grant reduces the amount of property taxes you pay each year on your principal residence.
If you’re a senior aged 65 or older and you meet certain requirements, you may be eligible for a higher grant amount.
To qualify for the grant you must meet the following requirements:
- You’re the registered owner of the residence
- You’re a Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada
- You live in B.C.
- You occupy the residence as your principal residence
- You’re 65 years of age or older in the current year
The homeowner who meets these qualifications must be the one who applies in order to receive the higher grant amount for that residence.
For the purpose of claiming the home owner grant, you can have only one principal residence.
If you own more than one home, you can't designate which one is your principal residence.
Your principal residence is the usual place that you make your home. It’s where you live and conduct your daily affairs, like paying bills and receiving mail, and it’s generally the residence used in your government records for things like your income tax, Medical Services Plan, driver's licence and vehicle registration.
To qualify for the home owner grant, your principal residence must be taxed as an improvement.
You must occupy your principal residence when you apply for the home owner grant. However, if you meet certain requirements you may still be able to apply for the grant if you:
- Work outside the province
- Are absent for reasons such as medical, travel, education or home renovations
- Moved into a residential care facility
- Moved out of your principal residence because it was damaged
Home owner grant amounts are determined based on:
If you meet all requirements but your property’s assessed or partitioned value is over $1,200,000, you may qualify for the grant at a reduced amount.
The grant is reduced by $5 for each $1,000 of assessed value over $1,200,000. This means the grant isn’t available for properties assessed over $1,369,000 ($1,409,000 in a northern and rural area).
If your property has an assessed value of more than $1,369,000 ($1,409,000 in a northern and rural area), then you aren’t eligible for a home owner grant. You may still qualify for a low income grant supplement, even though you aren’t receiving the home owner grant, and you can apply for the supplement on its own.
Partitioning your property value may enable you to claim the home owner grant if:
- You previously couldn’t, or could only claim a reduced grant, because of the high assessed value of your property, and
- Your property consists of your principal residence and at least one separate residence
You may apply to have the assessed value of your property partitioned using the Home Owner Grant Partitioning of Assessed Value Calculation (FIN 91) (PDF).
The partitioned value of a property is the property’s assessed value divided by the number of residences on that property. To qualify, each residence must have cooking, sleeping, bathroom and living room facilities. Multi-family dwellings like a duplex, triplex and fourplex qualify as separate residences. A suite in your principal residence doesn’t qualify as a separate residence.
Effective for the 2016 tax year, a laneway home may qualify as a separate residence.
Homeowners over 65 years of age must pay at least $100 in property taxes before claiming the home owner grant to help fund services such as road maintenance and police protection.
If you purchased your property during the current tax year, you may be eligible for the home owner grant if you meet the following requirements:
- The previous owner didn’t pay all of the property taxes
- The previous owner didn’t claim the grant
- You didn’t receive a grant this year for another home
- You’re occupying the property when you apply for the grant
The home owner grant that you’re eligible to claim will be applied against only the property taxes that the previous owner didn’t pay.
You must apply for the home owner grant each year to receive it. Only one grant can be claimed for a property each year.
Find out when and how to apply for the home owner grant.