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Vulnerable women given home ownership option through taxpayer-funded house project

Nov 12, 2019

The house-and-land packages for single women range between $320,000 and $395,000 and construction of the first nine properties is expected to begin in February next year.

The deal works because the SA Housing Authority holds a percentage of the ownership via a second mortgage, reducing the normal market purchase price by up to 35 per cent.

“The Liberal Government’s new Assist program means that this cohort of women can get their foot in the door of homeownership,” said Ms Lensink said.

“These first nine homes are just a start and we will be releasing more home and land packages under this program for eligible South Australians on low and moderate incomes in the future.

“We know that older women are now one of the most vulnerable demographic groups in Australia when it comes to home ownership, so the first nine Assist properties will be prioritised for eligible, single women over 50.”

Block sizes in the $6.8 million project range from 160 sqm to 211 sqm and will be allocated on a “first in, first served” basis Ms Lensink said. Uniting Communities spokesman Mark Henley welcomed the announcement.

“We are very supportive of this, because it responds to a growing concern that we have about the growing number of older women who are at risk of poverty and homelessness,’’ he said.

“Often years of domestic violence is a causative factor, with limited options for secure employment and insecure housing as consequences.”

Ms. Lensink said the buyer owns the home and enjoys all the benefits and responsibilities of home ownership, with the Authority holding a second mortgage on the property. She said this means the buyer’s repayments would be lower than if they had to buy the property on their own. If the first nine homes do not sell within 30 days, any other purchaser eligible under the Affordable Housing Program will be able to apply to buy them. The amount and the percentage home buyers will pay upfront will be different depending on their individual financial circumstances. There are strict eligibility criteria for the properties including:
  • Single person household earning less than $85,000.
  • Couples and family household earning less than $110,000 SA resident.
  • Don’t currently own residential property.
  • Must live in the property.
  • Have assets within the allowed limits.