Housing win for first homeowners

The Australian Institute of Architects welcomes the Government’s commitment – subsequently matched by the Opposition – to introduce a new First Home Loan Deposit Scheme from 1 January 2020.

National President, Clare Cousins, said the measure would help Australians on lower and middle incomes enter the housing market earlier.

‘We welcome this measure that will help more people become home owners,’ Ms Cousins said.

‘It will remove what has become an increasingly significant barrier to more Australians being able to purchase their first home, access to finance and the need to save a 20 per cent deposit.

‘In some cases, it will also reduce the overall costs where people will no longer need to pay lenders mortgage insurance.’

While the full details of the scheme have yet to be released, the Institute said other similar schemes have proven highly effective.

‘In Western Australia the Keystart program has been successfully using low deposit loans to help people purchase a home for more than three decades now,’ Ms Cousins said.

‘We identified housing affordability as one of the top six priorities for government in our federal election platform. Affordability and access to housing affects our overall productivity as a nation and the ability of all citizens to participate effectively in the economy.’

The Institute also welcomed the announcement of additional funding for the National Housing Finance and Investment Corporation to “conduct comprehensive research into housing demand, supply and affordability in Australia.”

‘Improving the housing data available not only to government but also to industry will enable us to better plan Australia’s housing future and ensure it is equitable and designed to best meet the needs of all Australians,’ Ms Cousins said.