Families struggling to pay for house deposits may soon be able to partner with Government in equity scheme

Families who are struggling to save for a house deposit may soon be able to partner with the Government in a new shared equity scheme.

With rising rents, struggles to save, and an inability to qualify for government assistance, homeowner Jeni Cartwright never thought she'd be able to own a home in Auckland.

"The major crutch for us was the deposit," she said.

Ms Cartwright had turned to her mother-in-law for help with paying off the house deposit.

While not everyone can afford this, the Salvation Army is saying families can do so with a newly proposed Kiwi Buy scheme from them, aiming to make homes more affordable.

"We think the Government needs to be more hands-on. We think the Government needs to actually accept that it has to fund people like it used to do 25, 30 years ago", said Alan Johnson from the Salvation Army.

The plan will be similar to what's known as shared equity, where the Government invests or guarantees a proportion of a house while being a passive stakeholder.

The homeowner could then pay it off over time, and then buy out the share equity.

"We're not talking about a massive scheme straight up, we're talking maybe 5,000 households a year. That's doable, and probably doable within the next year," said Mr Johnson.

The Housing Foundation already runs a small version of the equity scheme. It's built 750 homes, and 130 of those are now owned outright.

"It's a programme that already works, is already in place, but it's too small, and I think the big thing is we can use the power of the Government to be able to scale it up in a big way," said economist Shamubeel Eaqub.

Housing minister Phil Twyford is already working on his own scheme.

"I think the Salvation Army feel like they'd like us to go further and faster and I share that impatience, I want us to do more, I want us to build more houses," he said.

Ms Cartwright's family is grateful for the new start this has provided, and she wants other Kiwis to be given the same opportunity.

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Housing Minister Phil Twyford is looking into a share equity scheme. Source: 1 NEWS