HomeStart delivers for 408 home buyers in Invercargill

Invercargill news
Friday, April 29, 2016

Invercargill residents are making the most of the Government’s KiwiSaver HomeStart scheme with hundreds of approved grants in the city in the past year, Invercargill MP Sarah Dowie says.

The HomeStart scheme in its first year has provided $55.6 million in grants to 11,943 people across the country to help people into their first home,” Sarah Dowie says.

For Invercargill, figures show it has helped 408 buyers with grants worth $1.8 million from 1 April 2015 to 31 March 2016, she says. 

Invercargill woman Tricina Reed and her husband purchased their home through the Government’s KiwiSaver HomeStart package in February.

“Our dream has come true and it is great to now be a home owner,” Tricina Reed says.

The $435 million HomeStart scheme, which came into effect on 1 April 2015 to replace the KiwiSaver First Home Deposit Subsidy, 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.

KiwiSaver HomeStart is part of the National-led Government’s wide, ongoing programme to improve housing supply and affordability.

Sarah Dowie welcomes 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.”

Sarah Dowie says it is a good time for families to buy a first home.

“Interest rates are at the lowest level for fifty years and the HomeStart scheme is the most generous support a government has offered for first home buyers in a generation.

“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.