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Loans help newcomers settle into North Okanagan

Community Futures program aimed at helping make life easier for those new to the region
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Community Futures North Okanagan has launched a new loans program to help newcomers to the North Okanagan settle into the community. The loan is open to Canadian citizens and permanent residents. (Contributed)

A new loan program will make adjusting to life in the area a little easier for newcomers.

As inflation and the rising cost of housing puts more pressure on families that move to the region, Community Futures North Okanagan’s (CFNO) newcomers loan program puts up to $25,000 in the hands of eligible new residents to build their lives in the North Okanagan.

“Wherever people are coming from, we’re here to support them and help them adjust to life in the North Okanagan,” says Scot McNair, CFNO loans coordinator and business analyst. “We know that housing is expensive and difficult to find. With inflation and the rising cost of living, it isn’t easy for newcomers to move here. With this new program, we can help make that move possible.”

Open to Canadian citizens and permanent residents, loans through the program range from $2,500 to $25,000 and can be used for employment-related costs, housing or education. McNair says applicants put their funds towards a rental deposit, vehicle, work and school equipment, winter clothing, furniture, food staples and housing supplies among others to help them settle into their new home.

After submitting an application, applicants meet McNair to talk about their resettlement needs. Once the loan is approved, McNair says, the funds are quickly made available to help people get settled as soon as possible.

As a supporter of the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot, a program launched in 2020 that brings skilled workers to the North Okanagan and Shuswap, and provides a fast track to permanent residency, McNair says the newcomers loan program also helps support these families that choose to make Canada their home.

“We saw the need and knew we had to find a way to help people get settled here,” says McNair. “At Community Futures, we’re dedicated to supporting our communities, and a big part of that is helping the people who choose to move here. This is one way that we can be proactive and move the dial to make our community more accessible and help drive growth in the North Okanagan.”

Applications for the newcomers loan program are now open. For more information or to apply, visit futuresbc.com/business-loans/newcomers-loan/ or call 250-545-2215.

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roger@vernonmorningstar.com

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