Opinion piece: Labor helping more Australians into home ownership

Australian Treasury

Labor is the party that believes all Australians deserve a home.

We hear politicians elsewhere claiming that their party is the party for renters, or the party for home ownership.

But Labor is the only party to back words with action.

The Albanese Labor Government has now helped more than 100,000 people buy a home since the election, through the improved and expanded Home Guarantee Scheme.

We invested around $9.5 billion in our first year of government to help ensure more Australians have a safe and affordable place to call home.

We’ve introduced the largest increase to rental assistance in thirty years, aimed at providing support for those renters doing it tough.

We’re helping boost the supply of rental homes, but we’re also helping renters become homeowners.

Almost one in three first home buyers in 2022-23 were supported by the Home Guarantee Scheme, a significant increase from the previous year of the former Liberal Government. And the most recent data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics shows that lending for first home buyers is up more than 20 per cent compared to a year ago.

It’s a good start, but we want to help even more people through Help to Buy.

Help to Buy will support homebuyers with an equity contribution of up to 40 per cent for new homes and 30 per cent for existing homes. This means a lower deposit – as little as 2 per cent – and lower ongoing repayments.

As I told Parliament last year when I introduced this legislation, Labor understands what buying a house means to Australians.

Help to Buy will give tens of thousands of Australians the security of home ownership – and it’s not just me as the Government’s Housing Minister saying that.

The Australian Council of Social Service has said it may “help balance the scales for some between those who have access to ‘the bank of mum and dad’ for their deposit and those who do not”.

National Shelter has said it will be “critical” for helping older Australians who have fallen out of homeownership, particularly for older women facing housing challenges.

The Grattan Institute has said “a national shared equity scheme would revive the ‘great Australian dream’ for many Australians”, while the Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute has described the Government’s scheme as a “helping hand”.

If you buy with Help to Buy, the Government won’t be a co‑owner – it can’t control things like renovations or changes to the property.

Your home – and your mortgage – is all yours, and you can either buy back the government’s share or pay it back from the sale proceeds when you choose to sell.

It’s sensible policy, and it’s tightly targeted – meaning it helps people who need it without driving up property prices.

Every day, Labor is working hard to help more Australians move into their own home.

Our ambitious reform agenda is working across the board – more help for homebuyers, more help for renters and more help for Australians needing a safe place for the night.

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