The province is making buying a new home more affordable for families by doubling the First-Time Home Buyers Rebate to a maximum of $3,000. Premier Darrell Dexter and John MacDonell, Minister of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations made the announcement today, April 4, in Upper Sackville. The rebate is available to first-time home buyers purchasing newly constructed homes. About 1,000 Nova Scotia families may be eligible for the rebate. “For many Nova Scotians, buying a home is the biggest investment they will ever make,” said Premier Dexter. “Families tell us they want to put down firm roots and build a life here at home. The province agrees and by increasing the rebate, we are helping make homeownership a real and affordable choice for families.” The province will invest about $1.5 million to double the existing rebate from a maximum of $1,500 to $3,000. Over the next year, government will invest a total of $2.5 million to support first-time home buyers who purchase newly built homes. “Families are our priority, which is why we’re supporting their efforts to buy new homes,” said Mr. MacDonell. “The increased rebate can really help Nova Scotia families put down roots and become part of caring, vibrant communities.” The rebate is equivalent to 18.75 per cent of the provincial portion of the HST. “The Nova Scotia Home Builders’ Association is encouraged to hear about increased funding to the First-Time Home Buyers Rebate . This increase will provide greater value to the rebate and encourage Nova Scotians to purchase new homes,” said Paul Pettipas, the association’s chief executive officer. “It will create great opportunities as it encourages education and employment within the residential construction sector, resulting in a strong economy for Nova Scotia.” First-time home buyers may qualify for the rebate if they enter into an agreement of purchase and sale after March 31, 2012, or have the building permit issued for an owner-built home after that date. “The Nova Scotia Association of Realtors is pleased that first-time home buyers will be further supported in their effort to become homeowners,” said Wayne MacIntosh, the association’s president. “Realtors believe all Nova Scotians have the right to affordable and safe housing near where they work, shop and play. Today’s announcement is another opportunity that will help make that right a reality.” The increased rebate took effect April 1. Applications and rebate details are available at www.nsfirsthome.ca, or by calling 902-424-5200 in the Halifax region or 1-800-670-4357 toll-free.