FILE – A condo building is seen under construction surrounded by houses in Vancouver, B.C., on Friday March 30, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

CMHC expanding insured mortgage purchase program to $150B, up from $50B

Ottawa had a similar program to buy insured mortgages during the 2008-09 financial crisis

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. is expanding its insured mortgage purchase program to $150 billion as part of its response to the COVID-19 crisis.

The move to help bolster the financial system is an increase from an initial plan for $50 billion announced March 16.

The expansion is part of the emergency measures passed by the government to deal with the fallout of the novel coronavirus and the steps taken to slow its spread.

CMHC has said the insured mortgage pools already carry government backing, so there is no additional risk to taxpayers.

Ottawa had a similar program to buy insured mortgages during the 2008-09 financial crisis.

In buying the insured mortgages, CMHC helps provide funding for the banks that they can then use for other loans to help businesses and other borrowers.

READ MORE: Weddings, big gatherings have to stop, B.C.’s top doctor says

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