• Rent-to-own-home scheme offers big boost to first home buyers

    The new Labour-led Government will launch a rent-to-own home scheme.

    The Green Party policy, that Prime Minister elect Jacinda Ardern announced as part of a confidence and supply deal, will be a massive boost to thousands of Kiwis who have been locked out of homeownership.

    “Rent-to-own was a strong policy platform for the Green Party, and we agreed it was something we should incorporate into KiwiBuild,” Ardern said.

    Green Party leader James Shaw said that a specific model hasn’t yet been agreed and that the policy had been designed to work alongside Labour’s KiwiBuild programme, which is promising 100,000 new houses over 10 years.

    “What we’ve said is, there is a commitment to a rent-to-own scheme of some description, and we’ll work through that with the Labour Party as the KiwiBuild programme unfolds,” Shaw said.

    Ideally the Greens want the policy to take no more than 30% of someone’s weekly income. They believe the plan will save New Zealanders $100 a week compared to commercial mortgages

    Ardern said the new Government would look at a number of options to get people into their first home.

    “For us it’s about using a range of mechanisms to make sure people get into home ownership,” she said.

    “Some of the subsidy schemes the government have introduced don’t necessarily help home owners, because the proportion of a deposit they’re expected to accrue is still just too high.”

    The Labour-NZ First Government also announced yesterday that they would ban foreigners from buying existing homes, and set-up a comprehensive register of foreign-owned land and housing.

     – Report by Chris Matthews