PHOTO: Help to Buy is not just about a reduced deposit but offers long-term relief, potentially saving eligible new homeowners hundreds of dollars monthly on their mortgage payments. FILE
Housing Minister Julie Collins says the focus of the ‘Help to Buy’ scheme is to get more Australians into their own homes by allowing them to purchase a property with as little as a 2 per cent deposit.
This week, the federal government of Australia is set to introduce legislation for its shared equity scheme aimed at promoting home ownership. Fulfilling a pre-election commitment, the Albanese government is progressing towards the implementation of its Help to Buy scheme, a $329 million initiative enabling up to 40,000 eligible Australians to acquire property with a 2% minimum deposit, exempt from lenders’ mortgage insurance (LMI).
Under the scheme, the government will contribute up to 40% for new homes and 30% for existing ones, providing a potential solution to the challenges posed by the rising cost of living and escalating house prices. The initiative is designed to facilitate lower ongoing repayments for participants, offering sustained relief. While the legislation is poised for introduction this week, state-level legislation is still required for the scheme to operate in each jurisdiction. Several states, including NSW, Victoria, and Tasmania, already administer similar shared equity programs.
Upon the passage of Commonwealth legislation, Help to Buy will be operational in the territories, with all states committed to enacting their legislation for nationwide implementation next year. Housing Minister Julie Collins MP anticipates that the scheme will be transformative for 40,000 Australian households, making home ownership feasible for those who have faced barriers.
Collins emphasized that Help to Buy is not just about a reduced deposit but offers long-term relief, potentially saving eligible new homeowners hundreds of dollars monthly on their mortgage payments. The scheme supplements existing housing reform measures and guarantee schemes that have aided over 86,000 people in achieving home ownership.
As part of the broader housing reform agenda, the Albanese government has introduced the $10 billion Housing Australia Future Fund and set a national target to construct 1.2 million well-located homes. Jocelyn Martin, Managing Director of the Housing Industry Association, welcomed the Help to Buy scheme, asserting that such housing incentive programs are vital for boosting housing supply, supporting first home buyers, and facilitating quicker deposit accumulation. Martin highlighted the effectiveness of similar programs, such as the First Home Buyer Grant, in fostering home ownership and stimulating new housing supply. The Housing Industry Association remains a staunch advocate for initiatives that aid first home buyers in realizing their homeownership aspirations.