This section of the Capital Assistance Fund assists United Church pastoral charges/congregations in purchasing, constructing, or renovating church buildings, sanctuaries, halls, and manses.
If your project depends on a successful application, you are strongly advised not to sign contracts, begin construction/renovation, or make final commitments until the decision of the Financial Support Group (FSG) has been communicated by your Conference office.
Scope and Policy
- Capital Assistance Loans are available to congregations/pastoral charges with total income LESS than $300,000. Loan requests can range from a minimum of $5,000 up to 75% of the total capital project to a maximum of $150,000.
- Capital Grants are more restrictive and targeted to smaller mission units. The maximum income level for grant eligibility is $150,000.
- The pastoral charge/congregation and the presbytery should carefully study the project’s impact on the ministry of the church, including the impact of managing the debt.
- Presbytery and Conference approvals, with signatures, are to be included with the application.
- All approved loans should be drawn within 12 months of approval date.
- Approved loans greater than $100,000 require a registered mortgage against title to the property. A solicitor must provide both a preliminary and a final report that includes a copy of the registered mortgage. All legal expenses incurred in obtaining a mortgage are the responsibility of the applicant. Please note that the trustees should also approve a loan greater than $100,000, since they need to sign the mortgage in any case.
- The standard loan carries a three-year term and is amortized over 15 years, with a current interest rate of 2.0%. The first year of the loan is interest-free, with the full amount of the blended payments being applied against the principal balance of the loan. Any loans that extend more than a single term will be subject to a review at the end of each term, as well as a review of the interest rate in effect at the time of renewal.
- The Capital Assistance Fund loan will be advanced up to half the loan amount when the frame of the new building is up and covered, or half the renovations/additions have been completed. The signed Agreement to Repay must be received before any monies are expensed. The balance will be paid when the project is complete and the Certificate and Declaration of Trustees has been assigned.
- Loan repayments are due monthly until the loan is paid in full. Lump sum payments can be made to the principal loan without penalty. Two methods of repayment are available:
- a series of post-dated cheques for at least 12 months
- Pre-Authorized Repayment (PAR) Loan Authorization form
- Where the capital project consists of a major renovation/addition, architectural drawings/plans will be reviewed by the Architectural Resource Group (ARG) of Communities in Ministry.
- The Agreement to Repay, signed by the trustees, sets out the terms and conditions of the loan agreement. This legal document contains all the pertinent information about the loan that is being accepted by the congregation.
- The Certificate and Declaration of Trustees sets forth the terms and conditions of the document, including the title to property, liens and encumbrances, fire insurance details, and specific agreements relating to further encumbrances to the property.
- If the property the loan was intended for is disposed of by sale or otherwise, or if the building is not used for the purpose indicated on the application forms, the applicant shall repay immediately to the Capital Assistance Fund the unpaid balance of the loan (principal and interest).