HomeStart grants delivering for Hutt Valley first-home buyers

Hutt Valley news
Friday, April 29, 2016

Almost 700 first home buyers in the Hutt Valley have been helped in the first year of the Government’s HomeStart scheme.

Since the scheme began on 1 April 2015, 664 grants of up to $20,000 have been paid to first-home buyers in Lower and Upper Hutt. Chris Bishop, National List MP based in the Hutt Valley, says the HomeStart scheme is helping more Hutt residents get a foot on the property ladder.

“A big challenge for young people getting into home ownership is pulling together funds for a deposit. In the Hutt Valley the HomeStart scheme in its first year has provided $3.1 million in grants to 664 people to help them into their first home,” Mr Bishop said.

“Last year I ran a very well attended meeting advertising the HomeStart programme so it’s very pleasing to see Hutt residents taking advantage of it.

“The HomeStart scheme is the most generous support a government has offered for first home buyers in a generation. Across the country almost 12,000 people have received $55.6 million in grants to help them into their first home. With interest rates at the lowest level for fifty years, now is the right time to buy a first home.

“I also welcome the government’s latest tweaks to HomeStart which will help the scheme work better for second-chance homebuyers. It removes the income cap for people who have previously owned their own home but are struggling to get back into ownership after an event such as a separation or business failure.”

The $435 million HomeStart scheme has been projected to help 90,000 people over five years. Under it, couples can apply for grants of up to $10,000 for a deposit on an existing home and up to $20,000 for a new-build.

“The HomeStart scheme is also another good reason for people to join up to KiwiSaver. Under it, a couple each earning $40,000 a year could withdraw up to $29,000 after five years for a house deposit. They can combine that with their HomeStart grant of $10,000 or $20,000,” Mr Bishop said.

“KiwiSaver HomeStart is part of the National-led Government’s wide, ongoing programme to improve housing supply and affordability. The overall programme includes freeing up more land for development, measures to help constrain building material costs and compliance costs, and steps to raise the productivity performance of the construction sector.”