HomeStart scheme expands eligibility

Nick Smith (Newshub)
Nick Smith (Newshub)

More Kiwis will now be able to access KiwiSaver HomeStart loans, the Housing Minister Nick Smith has announced.

"These changes are about making sure HomeStart reaches its target groups," he told Newshub.

The scheme started on April 1, 2015, and provides grants of up to $10,000 towards the deposit for the purchase of an existing home and grants of up to $20,000 for a newly built home.

Mr Smith has announced that from Monday the income caps will increase from $80,000 to $85,000 for a single person, and from $120,000 to $130,000 for a couple.

The house price caps in each region would also increase by $50,000 to reflect the rise in the national median house price since the scheme began, he said.

"This is about complementing the changes in the Unitary Plan, it's going to free up the rules, and enable new houses to be built."

A couple on an average income each of $60,000 could potentially afford a $650,000 home, by withdrawing $45,000 from five years invested in KiwiSaver, getting a $20,000 HomeStart grant for buying a new build, and being eligible for a Welcome Home Loan with a 10 percent deposit, he said.

"This is really about the Government using multiple tools to address Auckland's housing woes," he says.

House Price Cap Increases