Prime Minister Anthony Albanese

PHOTO: Prime Minister Anthony Albanese. UPI

The Help to Buy Scheme introduced by the Australian government is making strides to restore homeownership opportunities for numerous Australians who were previously excluded from the housing market.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese declared, “Our administration is taking action to aid 40,000 families with moderate to low incomes in purchasing their own homes.”

He continued, “Often, these hardworking Australians have diligently saved and made sacrifices, yet the down payment for a home remains beyond their grasp. Our government is stepping in to offer support, unlocking the door to homeownership for tens of thousands of citizens.”

Through the Help to Buy initiative, eligible participants across all states and territories are given an equity contribution of up to 40% for new residences and 30% for existing properties.

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The National Cabinet has set an ambitious goal to construct 1.2 million well-located new homes over a span of five years starting from July 1. The Cabinet has also committed to implementing the following measures:

  1. The New Homes Bonus: A $3-billion performance-based funding program for states and territories that surpass their Accord targets and enact reforms to enhance housing supply and affordability.
  2. The Housing Support Program: A $500-million competitive funding initiative designed for local and state governments to stimulate housing supply.
  3. A Better Deal for Renters: This includes the development of a nationally consistent policy necessitating valid and reasonable grounds for eviction, a move toward limiting annual rental increases, and the gradual introduction of minimum rental standards.

The Real Estate Buyers Agents Association of Australia (REBAA) enthusiastically embraced the substantial rise in housing supply, asserting that it could alleviate the rental crisis.

REBAA President Cate Bakos (pictured above right) expressed, “Rising rental costs, displacement of renters, and a distressing increase in homelessness have become pressing issues. However, the discourse surrounding these matters has often been misdirected. Regrettably, policymakers have heeded the cries of ‘greedy landlords’ without truly grasping the underlying problems that lead to escalating rents.”

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Bakos commended the national cabinet’s emphasis on more affordable and secure housing, as well as its dedication to national planning reform. She underscored that meaningful progress in supporting renters would not have materialized if governments had continued to discourage private residential property investment and vilify landlords.

She added, “The range of priorities announced after the National Cabinet meeting will be warmly received by the broader industry. It demonstrates the commitment of all government levels to bolstering housing supply, rather than endorsing punitive rental reforms that might drive more investors away and exacerbate upward pressure on rents.”

Housing Minister Julie Collins affirmed that facilitating homeownership for 40,000 Australians is a pivotal facet of the government’s extensive and ambitious housing agenda to tackle the nation’s housing challenges.

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This comprehensive approach includes the $10 billion Housing Australia Future Fund, intended to support the construction of 30,000 new social and affordable rental homes within the initial five years. Additionally, the newly established $2 billion Social Housing Accelerator aims to deliver numerous social homes throughout Australia. Moreover, $350 million has been allocated to provide 10,000 affordable homes through the National Housing Accord over a span of five years, starting in 2024.

To date, more than 50,000 Australians have benefited from the Home Guarantee Scheme, with over 6,000 individuals benefiting from the new Regional First Home Buyer Guarantee.

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