Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Govt builds on home ownership scheme

The Government’s landmark Progressive Home Ownership (PHO) scheme will reach more potential first home buyers, by allowing existing homes to be bought, according to Housing Minister, Megan Woods.

Dr Woods said hundreds of eligible families who would otherwise not have been able to own their own home, have been helped to do so, since the launch of the PHO scheme in 2020.

“We’re changing this to enable people who fit the PHO criteria, to buy existing homes as well. This will increase the choice of homes, including more affordable homes, in more locations,” she said.

“We’re also increasing the PHO income cap criteria for applicants from $130,000 to $150,000, reflecting recent wage growth, and broadening the income cap exemption for intergenerational families to include larger whānau.”

These changes will allow more people to take up the PHO scheme, which is New Zealand’s first such Government-backed initiative, the Minister said.

The $400 million PHO scheme helps people into home ownership, particularly focusing on whānau with tamariki, Māori, and Pacific peoples. So far, 861 homes have been contracted, with 472 households moved in. The scheme is aiming to get at least 1,500 homes contracted by June 2024.

“These changes respond to the house price inflation that has occurred since the scheme’s launch which has had an impact on uptake, so will increase options for eligible households,” Minister Woods said.

Meanwhile, the Government is enabling 92 affordable rentals around the country through six new partnerships under the Affordable Housing Fund.

“These projects are at various stages of development and will be delivered between July 2023 and June 2027 in Auckland, Rotorua, Hastings, Wellington, and Nelson, where there is significant rental stress.

“These partnerships will support and grow the affordable housing sector, who are critical to addressing the needs of New Zealanders who struggle to meet the cost of a market rental, but for various reasons can’t access public housing,” said Dr Woods.

A second funding round is currently underway, with applications to be evaluated in August.

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