Government low-deposit scheme reaches milestone

100,000 Australians have benefited from the federal government's Home Guarantee Scheme

Government low-deposit scheme reaches milestone

The Australian government's low deposit scheme has reached a significant milestone, with 100,000 Australians benefiting from the opportunity to purchase their first homes.

Half of the limited guarantees have been secured within the past year, according to a report by The Australian.

Launched in January 2020, the Home Guarantee Scheme enables low- and middle-income individuals to buy their first homes with a deposit as low as 5%, The Australian reported.

The scheme initially offered 10,000 places in three intakes per financial year. However, it has expanded to include additional allocations for those building new homes, living in regional areas, and single parents. Over the past three years, key workers, including more than 6,700 teachers, 5,000 nurses, and almost 3,500 social workers, accounted for one in five beneficiaries who overcame the deposit hurdle. Approximately 34,000 places were allocated to individuals outside major cities.

“This is a wonderful milestone in the delivery of the... scheme,” National Housing Finance and Investment Corporation CEO Nathan Dal Bon told The Australian. “We look forward to helping more Australians over the coming years into homes sooner.”

Expanded eligibility

The next intake of the scheme is scheduled to commence on July 1. Last month's federal budget announced an expansion of the eligibility criteria. The scheme will no longer be limited to singles and couples; friends, siblings, and other family members will soon be allowed to apply jointly.

Read next: Budget changes will allow for 150,000 extra build-to-rent homes

The criteria for single-family guarantees will also be widened to include single legal guardians of children, such as aunts, uncles, and grandparents, The Australian reported. Furthermore, the scheme will be extended to individuals who have not owned a home for more than a decade, facilitating their re-entry into homeownership.

“It's great that so many Australians have been helped into home ownership through the Albanese government's expanded... scheme,” Housing Minister Julie Collins told The Australian. “We know this support is critical to help Australians overcome the deposit hurdle for buying a home.”

The maximum home prices, which vary depending on cities and regions, and income caps will remain unchanged.

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