HomeStart assisting people into their own homes

Column Articles
Monday, May 2, 2016

National values home ownership because it brings security to individuals and their families.

That’s why the National-led Government has a wide-ranging programme aimed at improving housing supply and affordability.

We are rolling out housing accords to free-up more land for development.

We are taking steps to cut unnecessary compliance costs.

Investment in skills will raise the productivity performance of the building sector.

The Government is keeping firm control of its own overall spending, thereby assisting to hold mortgage interest rates at their lowest levels in half a century.

All these measures will pay growing dividends over time.

And supplementing these policies, the Government last April doubled the level of financial support available for first-home buyers through its KiwiSaver HomeStart scheme.

Data on the first year of the HomeStart programme has now been published and it is fantastic to see the number of people that have been helped into homes in our region and nationwide.

In its first year the scheme helped 11,943 people with grants valued at $55.6 million. 128 first home buyers in the Bay have been helped in the first year of the Government’s HomeStart scheme equating to $659,000.

To make the scheme even stronger, the Government has decided to slightly alter one aspect of the KiwiSaver home buyer programme in respect of second-chance home-buyers.

The change being made from July aims to better help mid-life, middle-income New Zealanders who have been through a separation or business failure and are struggling to get back into home ownership by enabling them to access their KiwiSaver funds.

The income limits that previously prevented the use of the funds are being removed on 1 July 2016, meaning a second-chance homeowner whose assets are small will be able to access their KiwiSaver funds to buy a home regardless of how high their income is.

This change aims to help those that have been through a separation or business failure and want to get back into home ownership.