Homes­tart scheme in the Waikato

South Waikato News - - Conversations - LOUISE UP­STON

There are 107 more first home own­ers in South Waikato since the start of the Govern­ment’s Homes­tart scheme, which re­placed the old Ki­wisaver First Home De­posit Sub­sidy a ayear ago in April 2015.

Changes to the Ki­wisaver rules also means that peo­ple can com­bine their Homes­tart grant of up to $10,000 per per­son or up to $20,000 per cou­ple to­wards a de­posit on a new home.

Un­der Ki­wisaver, a cou­ple each earn­ing $40,000 a year could with­draw up to $29,000 af­ter five years for a house de­posit.

It’s pleas­ing to note that the Homes­tart Scheme has helped fund 87 new first homes pur­chases with grants worth $479,000 in the South Waikato re­gion since last year.

Hav­ing a de­posit big enough to buy a house has al­ways been a big chal­lenge for most young peo­ple want­ing to own their own home.

There­fore, com­bin­ing their Homes­tart grant with the Ki­wisaver in­cen­tive means a size­able de­posit to buy a first home has be­come a re­al­ity for more peo­ple.

If you haven’t al­ready done so, now might be a good time to join Ki­wisaver.

Sec­ond chance home own­ers will ben­e­fit too from the Govern­ment’s lat­est tweaks to the Ki­wisaver with­drawal rules.

I also wel­come the govern­ment’s lat­est tweaks to Ki­wisaver in­come and as­set caps, which will help the scheme work bet­ter for sec­ond-chance home­buy­ers.

As of 1 July 2016, 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, are re­moved.

This means a sec­ond-chance home­owner whose as­sets are small will be able to ac­cess their Ki­wisaver funds to buy a home re­gard­less of how high their in­come is, which is great news for mid-life, mid­dle-in­come New Zealan­ders.

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.

Oh wow. Con­grats An­gela Brid­gette Coward

Ki­wisaver’s Homes­tart scheme can give first home buy­ers the head start they need.

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