Sun. May 26th, 2024

The NSW Government is looking to expand the Shared Equity Home Buyer Helper program to include access for victim survivors of domestic and family violence.

A new government taskforce will be established, which will include Domestic Violence NSW (DVNSW), Minister for the Prevention of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Jodie Harrison and Treasurer Daniel Mookhey, to explore ways to improve housing outcomes for domestic violence victim-survivors.

The taskforce will also determine eligibility criteria for the expansion of this program, to be finalised in the coming weeks.

Recommendations from the taskforce will be considered as part of the process for the 2023-24 NSW Budget, which is due to be handed down on Tuesday, 19 September 2023.

Under the current Shared Equity Home Buyer Helper, the NSW Government contributes up to 40 per cent for a new home or up to 30 per cent for an existing home bought by eligible home buyers with a minimum deposit of 2 per cent.

Domestic and family violence is a leading cause of homelessness amongst women. Last year, there were 33,410 reports of domestic violence related assault incidents recorded by the NSW Police Force. 2022 BOCSAR data also reported that domestic violence rates across NSW have increased at a rate of 3 per cent annually over the past five years. Moree, Inverell, Narrabri and Gunnedah shires have some of the highest rates of domestic violence in the state.

Minister for the Prevention of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Jodie Harrison said domestic and family violence has become endemic across NSW.

“Providing safer housing and greater financial security is an important way the NSW Government can support domestic violence victim-survivors achieve better long-term outcomes.

“This taskforce will explore options to achieve the best outcome for domestic violence victim-survivors when it comes to housing.

“This is one step the NSW Government is taking, in what will be an ongoing path towards making New South Wales a safer place for victim survivors.”

Minister for Finance Courtney Houssos said Revenue NSW will ensure that for domestic violence victim-survivors who wish to access the Shared Equity Scheme the process is simple and sensitive towards their need.

“The shared equity program is an important tool the NSW Government has to advance home ownership and combat the housing crisis.”

“This taskforce is a significant step in making domestic violence victim-survivors safer, more secure and providing them with better economic opportunities.”

Delia Donovan, CEO of Domestic Violence NSW, said they welcome the announcement and look forward to co-chairing the taskforce.

“We know that domestic and family violence impacts people from a wide variety of backgrounds.”

“For victim-survivors who are in a financial position to purchase property, this scheme will make it a little bit easier for them to escape abusive relationships, rebuild their life and have a secure roof over their head.”

More information on Shared Equity Home Buyer Helper is available here: nsw.gov.au/shared-equity

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