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Home Features How they’re tackling housing affordability in the West
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TAGS Housing, housing affordability, WA Department of Housing, WA Premier's Awards, Western Australia
As housing affordability worsens, policymakers are looking to creative solutions. One prize-winning program in WA has already helped over 700 low income earners buy their own homes.
House prices are soaring in comparison to incomes, making life difficult for many and threatening to undermine national economic performance. Western Australia has devised an innovative policy solution.
Using a shared equity model, the Shared Home Ownership scheme allows low-earning prospective homeowners who meet certain criteria to purchase a property by sharing up to 30% of the capital cost with the Department of Housing and borrow the rest with a SharedStart loan through state mortgage lender KeyStart Home Loans.
The loan is directly linked to a major construction expressions of interest project that means the department is able to procure newly built, affordable dwellings in bulk from the market at discounted rates. The discount to market prices gained by the department become its equity share in the portfolio of properties.
In recognition of its achievements, the Department of Housing won the overall award at the 2014 WA Premier’s Awards for Public Sector Excellence and the “Developing the Economy” award for the scheme.
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David Donaldson is a journalist at The Mandarin based in Melbourne. He's previously written for The Guardian and Crikey and holds a masters in international relations.
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