LifestylePersonal Finance

Affordable Housing in Today’s Market

Many people today are concerned about the volatile housing market and their ability to find affordable housing in Australia. The good news is that the government has put several programs into place that provide many affordable housing options.

Whether you are planning to rent a home or purchase a home, there are programs designed to help offset the cost of your housing.

Below is some vital information that will help you find affordable housing.
Affordable Renting Options

Here is a look at the two basic options for finding affordable housing as a renter.

Rent Assistance. This program is available to all low-income families across the country. The government helps by paying a portion of your rent bill to make the total amount you owe less expensive. The exact amount of help available depends on your specific set of circumstances.

Public Housing. For people not receiving Rent Assistance, the government operates numerous public housing facilities across the country. These are available to low-income families and are provided at a cheaper rate than standard rental homes.

First-Time Home Buyers

If you have never purchased property in Australia before, you may be eligible for financial assistance in purchasing your first home. Combined, these programs can help provide you with a substantial down payment on your first home, which will help you receive better interest rates and lower mortgage payments.

First Home Saver Account. This program is designed to help you save money to purchase a home. The government will contribute 17 per cent for the first $6,000 you deposit into this account each year. You are required to deposit at least $1,000 per year for at least four consecutive years. You must use this money towards the purchase of your first home and you cannot withdraw the fund for at least four years.

First Home Owner Grant. This is a grant specifically for first-time homebuyers in Australia. The program is run independently by each state or territory. You could receive a grant for as much as $15,000 towards the cost of a new home. This grant money can only be used for the purchase of your first home, but does not need to be repaid.

Shared Home Ownership

People who want to purchase their own home, but cannot afford to pay the total amount may consider using the Shared Home Ownership option. This program allows you to purchase your home with the help of the federal government, by purchasing the property together. Depending on your specific set of circumstances, the government may provide as much as 30 per cent of the cost of the home. This would mean that the government would own a portion of your home and if you were to sell the home a portion of the profits would go back to the government. You will be given the option of purchasing the government’s portion at a later date.

Affordable House Sales

The government also operates the Affordable House Sales program. This program gives low-income families the opportunity to purchase a low-cost home before it is listing on the regular housing market. Low-income people may have up to 90 days to look at certain low-cost homes before they are available to the public. This gives them a chance to purchase a home without as much competition. A real estate agent in your area can help you find eligible homes that fit into your budget.

There are many affordable housing options available to you whether you are renting or purchasing a home. By the government offering to pay a portion of your regular rent payments or a down payment for a home, you will be able to greatly reduce your out-of-pocket expenses. These programs work to make housing more affordable to everyone despite the current housing market.

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  1. Joanna Thompson
    November 28, 2013 at 3:24 pm — Reply

    Wow, the first year grant thing is an amazing idea and is so generous! I had no idea about it until now. More countries should definitely be doing things that are similar to that.

  2. That Career Girl
    January 24, 2014 at 10:11 pm — Reply

    As soon as my sister turned 18 I encouraged her to open a first home saver. Even if she doesn’t deposit the full amount, at least she cannot withdraw what she has put in there!

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