Property News, Insights & Education

    Government's Shared Equity Scheme to Help Australians Achieve Homeownership

    Speaking at the 49th national conference of the Australian Labor Party today, Anthony Albanese made the announcement that the government’s shared equity scheme will begin mid next year, in July 2024.

     

    The Help To Buy scheme that was announced during the Labor Party’s election campaign promises to help 40,000 Australians in low to middle incomes purchase a property, even after they’ve been knocked back by banks.

     

    The scheme requires participants to earn no more than $90,000 as a single person or $120,000 as a couple.

     

    The Help To Buy scheme involves the government contributing up to 40 percent of the value of a new home, or 30 percent of an existing home, as a way of assisting Australians who wouldn’t otherwise qualify for a home loan.

     

    The government’s contribution to the home purchase means they will own a share, but participants can either make voluntary payments to increase their share of the property, or elect to pay it back upon selling.

     

    Other requirements state that participants must live in the property, must not own property in Australia or internationally, and have saved a minimum 2 percent deposit.

     

    Help to buy scheme part of Labor’s bid to keep the Australian dream alive

     

    Mr Albanese acknowledged the struggles of today’s first home buyers in his speech, calling the Labor Party the ‘party for the Australian dream’.

     

    “These Australians have done the right things, they have worked hard and saved up. They have made sacrifices, but a deposit for a home is still out of reach. 

     

    “What our government will do is step up and put in our share, opening the door of home ownership through the shared equity scheme to tens of thousands of hard-working people. 

     

    “We are the party of the Great Australian Dream, and we are going to keep that dream within reach of the next generation of Australians,” said Mr Albanese.

     

    Social housing a soft spot for Anthony Albanese

     

    Mr Albanese also acknowledged the struggles of those in need of more social and affordable housing.

     

    Having lived in social housing with his mother when he was a child, Mr Albanese is no stranger to the value of housing stability. In his speech today he recognised the increased difficulty for renters and people in need of community housing. 

     

    “I’m not the only person in this room who is here because public housing changed their life.

     

    “It is a foundation on which you build everything else, there is nothing that lets you reach higher than a solid floor under your feet. Nothing like a roof over your head to give you a sense of the sky’s the limit.

     

    “My mum and I had the security of public housing when I was growing up, life was not easy by any means, but the simple truth is it’s harder these days and harder for so many more Australians, harder for people who need public or community housing, harder for renters and harder for first-time buyers.

     

    “The fundamental answer to all of this of course is supply. Building more homes. And that is precisely what we are working on everyday in government,” said Mr Albanese.

     

    Big week for Australian housing

     

    It’s been a big week for Australian housing, with the national cabinet meeting yesterday placing housing at the top of its agenda.

     

    It resulted in the announcement of increased home building targets, of 1.2 million dwellings in the five years from July 2024, up from a previous commitment of 1 million homes.

     

    The states will be incentivised to meet their share of 1.2 million homes, with a $3 billion performance based fund.

     

    It’s been noted that legislation will also need to be passed by states and territories before the Help To Buy scheme can be implemented. 

     

    But Albanese insisted that states and territories have already agreed to do so, with all state government’s in support of what Albanese called ‘the most significant set of reforms to housing policy in a generation’.

     

    Calls have been repeatedly made for the government and states to act in unison to fund and enable better home building targets, and it appears those calls might have finally been heard.