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New scheme helping low-income families buy homes

Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Tuesday, 23 April 2019, 10:41AM
The KiwiBuy campaign is aiming to help families with an income between $50,000 and $90,000 onto the property ladder. Photo / Getty Images.

A shared equity and rent-to-buy scheme is being suggested as a way to help low-income families buy a home.

The KiwiBuy campaign is aiming to help families with an income between $50,000 and $90,000 onto the property ladder.

The joint project, which is 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.

KiwiBuy campaign chair, Campbell Roberts, told Tim Dower KiwiBuild isn't affordable for a number of people.

"KiwiBuild had possibilities but unfortunately didn't have the other things that go with it."

"There's no doubt that houses needed to be built and low-cost houses needed to be built, but they have still got to be affordable and the reality is in a situation like Auckland, KiwiBuild is not affordable," he said.

"What's happening markets like Auckland, is that if you haven't got $100,00 as a household income, then you are not going to be able to afford KiwiBuild and that's really tragic because there are a number of people just under that income, that actually could get into KiwiBuild if there is some incentives to do so."

Roberts said KiwiBuy has been very successful, with around three families a week being places in shared equity or rent-to-buy homes.

"Using schemes such as shared equity, which essentially means you pay for a part of the house, you pay for 70 per cent or 60 per cent of the house and the rest of the equity is held onto and then over a period of time, as your income improves and things get better, then you can buy the rest of that house."

"With rent-to-buy, your put into a house, you pay rent which might be a wee bit over the market in some cases and that money is then held for you and eventually you build up a deposit."

He said it's a great way of helping people who otherwise wouldn't be able to afford a home.

"We think that teamed up with something like KiwiBuild there is a real possibility for this."

Roberts said they are urging to Government to adopt and fund the scheme.

"For the Government, it's a winner. If they leave some equity in the house, there is some equity there and in the years to come they get that money back and it can be recycled again for other people."

"It's a better way of doing than having to build more and more social housing because you have people who can't get into housing at all."

He said people also need support to organise their finances and budget, which KiwiBuy provides.

Roberts said the Government seems to be focused on KiwiBuild currently and is reluctant to get involved.

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