Minister hits road to promote HomeStart

  • Nick Smith
Building and Housing

A roadshow begins in West Auckland tonight on the Government’s KiwiSaver HomeStart package to help young New Zealanders put together a deposit and get a mortgage for their first home.

“It is more difficult for young families now to get onto the housing ladder than it was for previous generations. Society benefits from home ownership in that it provides improved family stability, greater financial security and stronger communities. This HomeStart package is the most generous support from Government in over 30 years, and is part of the Government’s plan to reverse the long-term decline in home ownership,” Building and Housing Minister Dr Nick Smith says.

“The HomeStart package came into effect on 1 April this year. It doubles the grants available from Government, enables greater withdrawals from KiwiSaver for buying a home, and increases the eligibility for the Welcome Home Loan scheme. The package is projected to help 90,000 people into home ownership over the next five years, at a cost of $435 million.

“I am hitting the road in a series of public meetings to encourage as many New Zealanders as possible to take up the opportunities that HomeStart provides. Buying a first home is one of the bigger decisions a person makes in life and I want them to be as well-informed as possible on the assistance that is available from Government.”

The HomeStart meetings being held this week are in West Auckland, Christchurch and Nelson, and include the Minister, the Commission for Financial Capability and Housing New Zealand, which administers the HomeStart and Welcome Home Loan schemes. Banks and building companies are also participating in the roadshow.

“HomeStart is just one part of the Government’s housing programme and is aimed at helping young people put together a deposit, as well as encouraging the development sector to build more affordably priced homes. Our wider reforms include opening up new land through the Housing Accords and Special Housing Areas, increasing skills and productivity in the construction sector, reducing tariffs on building materials, and constraining development charges under the Local Government Act.”