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Housing Minister Megan Woods: Helping more families into home ownership

Opinion 24/07/2020

This oped is written by MP for Wigram and Housing Minister, Megan Woods.

OPINION: Home ownership is something New Zealanders have long aspired to. We want the security and wellbeing home ownership provides for our families and to invest in our futures. 

Previous generations took home ownership for granted. Unfortunately under-investment in housing and infrastructure in the past has left the dream of home ownership exactly that for increasing numbers of families – a dream. 

The gap that’s been created between house prices and what is affordable to many families, no matter how hard they work and save, is something the Government has been focussed on addressing. 

Progressive home ownership (PHO) schemes are a practical solution.  They help families locked out of the housing market because they can’t quite save the necessary deposit or meet monthly mortgage payments by sharing the cost of the mortgage and overcoming the deposit barrier. They partner a family with a provider to enable home ownership through shared ownership, a ‘rent to buy’ scheme, or a leasehold arrangements where the provider sells a home but retains ownership of the land.  

PHO schemes have had great success overseas, and some providers are already delivering them to small numbers of New Zealanders.  The Government wants more families to be able to enjoy the benefits PHO schemes provide.

The Progressive Home Ownership scheme that I was very proud to announce today will support up to 4,000 families who could not otherwise afford home ownership to get into their own homes. 

The scheme will support organisations already providing PHO schemes with wraparound support services, like budgeting advice, so they can help more people.  It also includes a new initiative through Kāinga Ora for households with an annual income of under $130,000 to receive shared ownership support directly.

We’re focussing on the parts of the country where housing affordability is most severe, with a strong preference for new houses to build supply. And we’re going to give priority to supporting groups finding it especially tough to get into their own homes - Māori and Pacific people and families with children.

Every additional family we can help into home ownership helps us deliver our aspiration for all New Zealanders to have warm, secure homes in which to raise their families.

This oped is written by MP for Wigram and Housing Minister, Megan Woods.