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Ownership scheme better but no silver bullet

Tuesday, 15 August 2006

Turner: Home ownership scheme better but no silver bullet

United Future housing spokesperson Judy Turner, has welcomed the extended provision of the 'Welcome home' loan scheme announced by the government, but warns that more strategies must be developed to turn the tide of falling home ownership rates.

Mrs Turner was responding to the government raising the maximum for a government backed home loan without deposit, from $150 000 to $200 000.

"This increase needed to happen. House prices continue to rise and to be honest $150 000 will not buy you any kind of home in many areas of New Zealand.

"While this boost is definitely appropriate, it should not be seen as an exhaustive solution. The government should be constantly looking at options to assist particularly first tome buyers into home ownership.

"No one scheme is capable of being a silver bullet to raise homeownership levels to that seen by older generations. We must look at schemes that cater to different situations and abilities of potential home owners.

"The Kiwi Saver is a good initiative, and I urge the Government to use United Future's proposal of a rent-to-own scheme to assist state housed tenants into ownership, through a share of capital gains on the property while renting from Housing New Zealand.

"Declining home ownership rates are more than just a short term problem. Unaffordable housing has significant longer-term consequences, particularly when those without a house as an asset begin approaching retirement age," warns Mrs Turner.

ENDS

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