29 Nov Government takes action on ‘help to buy’ housing laws
Thousands of Australians seeking to buy a home will soon get assistance with laws due to go to federal parliament.
The “help to buy” laws to be introduced this week will support 40,000 eligible home buyers with an equity contribution of up to 40 per cent for new homes and 30 per cent for existing homes.
Home buyers will need a minimum two per cent deposit to participate in the scheme, and will have lower ongoing repayments while they take part.
States will need to pass their own legislation in order for the program to operate in their jurisdiction, but it will start in the Northern Territory and ACT following passage of commonwealth legislation.
The aim is to have the scheme operating nationally from 2024.
Housing Minister Julie Collins said the government’s plan was about “making sure that more Australians have a safe, affordable place to call home”.
“We are trying to turn this around, as I said it’s not easy to turn around quickly, it will take some time but we’re working at every avenue,” she told ABC on Tuesday.
“This is the great Australian dream we’re trying to bring back for Australians who have been locked out for ages (from) getting into their own home.”
It complements other schemes including the $10 billion Housing Australia Future Fund and the $2 billion social housing accelerator.
“It won’t just be a leg up into home ownership with savings from a smaller deposit – it will provide long-term relief to Australians who are part of the scheme,” Ms Collins said.
“In fact, help to buy could help eligible new home owners save hundreds every month on their mortgage.”
Asked whether the government had any plans to change taxes on the family home, Ms Collins said: “We’re not looking at those things.”
“What we’re focused on is getting Australians into their own home, which is why we’re introducing this scheme.”
Meanwhile, a Senate committee is due to report on Tuesday on solutions to the rental crisis.
The committee has taken hundreds of submissions on rental affordability, actions governments can take to lower costs, supply and demand factors and renters’ rights.
Paul Osborne and Kat Wong
(Australian Associated Press)