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  • As part of the Federal Budget 2020-21, the Morrison Government has announced measures to try and get more Australians into homeownership, but some say they don’t go far enough
  • The government will establish the Family Home Guarantee with 10,000 spots made available over four years to single parents with dependents
  • The move was welcomed by the housing industry, which said the incentives will help Australians secure homeownership and create jobs
  • Labor housing spokesman Jason Clare said the announcement amounted to “minimum help, maximum hype”
  • Australian Council of Social Service CEO Dr Cassandra Goldie said the Family Home Guarantee does nothing to help single-parent females living in poverty

As part of the Federal Budget 2020-21, the Morrison Government has announced measures to try and get more Australians into homeownership, but some say they don’t go far enough.

As part of the budget, the government will establish the Family Home Guarantee with 10,000 spots made available over four years to single parents with dependents.

The Family Home Guarantee allows them to purchase a home sooner with a deposit of as little as two per cent.

The government has rebranded the First Home Loan Deposit Scheme as the First Home Guarantee, which allows first-time homebuyers to purchase a new home or purchase a freshly constructed home with as small as a five per cent deposit.

10,000 additional spots have been announced for the scheme in which government serves as guarantor on the loan, freeing the homeowner from the lender’s mortgage insurance.

They also announced an increase in the maximum amount of voluntary contributions that can be released under the First Home Super Saver Scheme from $30,000 to $50,000.

The move was welcomed by the housing industry, which said the incentives will help Australians secure homeownership and create jobs.

“These new measures will provide ongoing support for households looking to achieve the goal of home ownership,” Housing Industry Association Managing Director Graham Wolfe said.

“The Family Home Guarantee provides a realistic, targeted and practical way to assist single parents build their family’s future,” he added.

“While many people can service a mortgage, saving the extra money each week to build up a deposit is simply too hard. This scheme will meet a real need and support thousands of families gain the security that comes with a home,” he concluded.

Master Builders Australia (MBA) also sang the measures’ praises.

“Builders, tradies, single mums, first home buyers in communities around the country will back the Government in making home ownership a centre piece of the Budget,” MBA CEO Denita Wawnsaid.

“Every $1 spent building new housing delivers $3 in benefits to the wider economy result so this undoubtedly good news for the whole community,” she said.

“Overcoming the deposit gap is the greatest barrier to home ownership and these measures will be life-changing for so many people,” Wawn concluded.

Not everyone is in agreement however, Labor housing spokesman Jason Clare said the announcement amounted to “minimum help, maximum hype”.

“The Government has had eight years to fix the problems of housing affordability — and it’s just got worse,” he said.

“It’s harder to buy than ever before, it’s harder to rent than ever before and there are more homeless Aussies than ever before. And this over-hyped announcement doesn’t do anywhere near enough to help,” Clare added.

Clare said the fact that the Family Home Guarantee will only help 2500 families a year “does absolutely nothing to help older mothers and women and children escaping domestic violence”.

Australian Council of Social Service CEO Dr Cassandra Goldie said the Family Home Guarantee won’t help single-parents, particularly females, living in poverty.

“This measure will do nothing to help these women and their children, as they struggle to get by day to day, just trying to keep any kind of roof over head,” she said.

“This new scheme will help a handful of middle-income single parents trying to get into Australia’s hugely expensive housing market, which is good news for these families.”

Dr Goldie said the scheme will cost the Government just $300,000 over the forward estimates because the risk of defaulting amongst single parents, overwhelming women, is so low.

“We know just how diligent these families work to make ends meet. So for the Government, this specific measure is cheap as chips,” she said.

“At the same time the Government appears determined to lock in billions of dollars’ worth of tax cuts which mostly benefit people on higher incomes, who are mostly men,” Dr Goldie concluded.

The Morrison government is providing a further $124.7 million in funds to help states and territories fulfil their welfare and community housing obligations under the 2011 Fair Work decision on compensation for Social and Community Services workers.

Dr Goldie welcomed the announcement of guaranteed equal pay funding for homelessness services.

“We know right now we have a housing crisis, with income support cuts and eviction moratoriums ending, making homelessness services all the more important,” Dr Goldie said.

“That’s why it’s so crucial that the Government has delivered this security of funding for these critical homelessness services for the next two years,” she concluded.

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