Seeking Jubilee – Interfaith Table exploring a 0% mortage program

“The word “jubilee”—literally, “ram’s horn” in Hebrew—is defined in Leviticus 25:9 as the sabbatical year after seven cycles of seven years (49 years). The fiftieth year was to be a time of celebration and rejoicing for the Israelites. The ram’s horn was blown on the tenth day of the seventh month to start the fiftieth year of universal redemption.”

“The Year of the Jubilee involved a year of release from indebtedness (Leviticus 25:23-28) and all types of bondage (vv. 39-55). All prisoners and captives were set free, all slaves were released, all debts were forgiven, and all property was returned to its original owners. In addition, all labor was to cease for one year, and those bound by labor contracts were released from them. One of the benefits of the Jubilee was that both the land and the people were able to rest.”
Source:  https://www.gotquestions.org/Jubilee.html

Inspired by these teachings from the Jewish and Christian scriptures, and from Muslim teachings on debt and Usury, CRIHI is assembling a table to design and carry forward a 0% mortgage program.  A first draft of this program has been completed and is tentatively titled the Jubilee Mortgage program.  The idea is that such a program would provide a path into home ownership for low and middle income families who have demonstrated an ability to retain stable housing.

Instead of charging interest, this program would require participants to pay a service fee up front for participation .  This fee would cover:

  1. the costs of staffing and administration, program promotion etc
  2. stress tests and risk management
  3. and a significant percentage to grow the funding pool for the program.
CRIHI currently has Christian and Muslim voices at the table already to work together on this, but are seeking more participants from other faith communities.  Additional Muslim or Christian voices are also welcome.  CRIHI believes a strong Interfaith team backing this is critical to this program having success in developing relationships with financial institutions and private and public partners in business or Government.

If interested to participate in this program, please contact CRIHI’s animator at mike@interfaithhousing.ca.

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