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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 13 Hansard (Tuesday, 16 November 2010) . . Page.. 5434 ..

otherwise be out of reach. The shared equity scheme means that the benefits of home ownership are available to many in our community who were previously excluded because they could not get over the initial financial hurdle.

There have been some very positive developments since I announced that IMB, one of Australia’s most established building funds, was to be Housing ACT’s partner in the shared equity scheme.

To briefly outline how the scheme works, people will be required to purchase at least 70 per cent of their property using funds provided from IMB. The outstanding 30 per cent equity share will then progressively be purchased. A minimum of two purchases, at five years and 15 years, is required. It is expected that people will move to purchase the remainder of the property, buying out Housing ACT’s share, sooner, increasing their equity and moving to full ownership.

Money raised by the sale of properties under the shared equity scheme will be reinvested into public housing.

Public information sessions were held in May of this year for interested public housing tenants, and the response has been very positive. An information session was also held for the ACT Law Society to provide information to the legal profession who may act for public housing tenants purchasing a property under the shared equity scheme.

Since the shared equity scheme commenced in May of 2010, 48 applications have been received, six applications have settled and 14 applications are ongoing in the purchase stream.

This scheme is just part of a range of initiatives developed by the ACT government to make home ownership attainable for more Canberrans and it is part of the government’s goal of developing a housing continuum, supporting people to transition from homelessness to long-term sustainable housing, and in this case to home ownership.

MR HARGREAVES: Mr Speaker, a supplementary?

MR SPEAKER: Yes, Mr Hargreaves.

MR HARGREAVES: Minister, to assist me to be able to respond to the many inquiries I get around the purchasing of government housing, could you please outline any other initiatives that enable public housing tenants to own their own home?

MS BURCH: Thank you, Mr Hargreaves. The shared equity scheme is, in fact, an extension of the ACT’s very successful sale to tenant scheme which has been operating since 1991. The sale to tenant scheme is aimed at providing a home ownership opportunity to public housing tenants and, under the sale to tenant scheme, public housing tenants purchase the home they are living in outright from Housing ACT. There are no restrictions on which financial institution can be used to provide any finance that might be necessary.

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