JBS Foods Canada Establishes Homebuyer ‘Dream Fund,’ Invests in Affordable Housing

Press Release Mar 01, 2022
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JBS Foods Canada today announced a $1.7 million Homebuyer Dream Fund to stimulate growth of the local housing market and provide affordable housing opportunities for qualifying team members.

To address the growing demand for affordable family homes in Brooks, Alberta, the Dream Fund was established as a one-year pilot program under the company’s Hometown Strong initiative, specifically designed to help team members overcome financial hurdles when purchasing or upgrading their homes. Specifically, the fund will allot a $10,000 loan per eligible team member to be used toward a down payment. Each loan requires no repayment during the first 12 months, accrues zero interest and will be ultimately repaid through payroll deduction over a 4-year (60-month) period.

“The Dream Fund addresses a critical need of our workforce by removing barriers to purchasing an affordable home in our community,” said David Colwell, president, JBS Foods Canada. “We are proud to offer this opportunity for many team members who may otherwise lack necessary resources to take that first step toward homeownership.”

“This is great news for the Brooks region and a good opportunity for JBS Foods Canada workers to get their own home or to move into something bigger,” said Brooks Mayor John Petrie. “I see this as a big economic boost for the area, which would be excellent for developers and the business community from the trades up. I appreciate what JBS Foods Canada has shown in their commitment to their employees, the City of Brooks and the surrounding area.”

“In 2020, JBS Foods Canada won the employer of the year award, and you can see why. This program will not only enrich the lives of JBS employees, but it will also benefit the community as a whole through the movement of home sales, renovations, new home builds and quality of family life,” said Margaret Plumtree, Brooks Chamber of Commerce Executive Director. “We are excited for JBS and their employees. Thank you to JBS for all their hard work and commitment to the betterment of our community.”

JBS Foods Canada previously announced an initial Hometown Strong investment of $2 million to support the community’s future. The Dream Fund will allocate additional Hometown Strong funds to address the growing need for affordable family homes in the area.

To qualify for the Dream Fund, JBS Foods Canada team members must commit to a minimum of two years of service, be in good standing with the company and fall at or below an annual salary of CAD $120,000. Homes eligible to be purchased with the loan must be within 75 kilometers of the JBS Foods Canada facility in Brooks, Alberta.

Scotiabank will serve as the Dream Fund’s official financial institution responsible for the administration of the loans, and Olympia Trust will manage the transition, payback and compliance.

The JBS Foods Canada Brooks production facility employs more than 3,000 people with an annual payroll of more than $110 million. The beef facility supports more than 500 local producers, paying them $1.6 billion per year for their livestock.

Hometown Strong is a $100 million initiative that adds to commitments JBS has made to protect employees and ensure their job security amid the global pandemic. Funds are being directed to the communities where JBS team members live and work in the U.S. and Canada. Hometown Strong is one of the largest community investment programs of its kind.