Govt urged to support scheme helping low-income families buy homes

Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Tuesday, 23 April 2019, 6:39AM
The KiwiBuy campaign is calling on the Government to adopt and upscale funding for the schemes. Photo / Getty Images.

Shared equity and rent-to-buy schemes are being hailed as the answer to helping low-income families into the property market.

The KiwiBuy campaign, which is a joint project between the Salvation Army, Habitat for Humanity, the NZ Housing Foundation and Community Housing Aotearoa, is calling on the Government to adopt and upscale funding for the schemes. 

New Zealand Housing Foundation operations general manager, Dominic Foote, told Tim Dower shared equity helps people get their foot on the property ladder.

He said KiwiBuy is aimed at people who can't afford to buy a house through the Government's KiwiBuild policy.

"The market for KiwiBuild is aimed at far higher levels of income. People who might be targeted by KiwiBuild tend to be on incomes of over $100,000 or $120,000 and upwards, we are looking at families less than $120,000."

The scheme is targeting families who have incomes between $50,000 and $90,000.

Foote said KiwiBuy would make it easier for families who might not have the money to buy outright, but who can afford to buy a share.

"So we put them into a stable rental, they have a guaranteed rental agreement for fives years or more and over that time we help them to build some equity in their home through contributing some of their rent towards a deposit and over those five years, we help to transition them from renting to buying a share in that property."

"They don't become outright owners after five years, they become a part owner. So after five years, they might own  50 per cent or 60 per cent of the house they are living in and over the subsequent years...they can then become the full owner of the property."

He said on average it takes families between five and 10 years to become owners of a property.

"On average, through the shared ownership programme, the average has been about five years before they become full owners. With our rent to buy programme, it's about five years of renting and then another four years of shared ownership before they become the full owner."

However, Foote said they still have a mortgage to pay off after that period of time.

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