Addressing Housing Affordability

Expanding HomeShare

Labor will make the successful HomeShare model more accessible for Tasmanians wanting to buy their own home.

HomeShare reduces the initial cost of buying a house and the monthly cost of owning it. The scheme opens the door to home ownership for those who have enough income to make the step, but need a helping hand.

Under HomeShare you own at least 70 per cent of your home and the Director of Housing contributes up to 30 per cent. The Director’s share is capped at $59,119 for house and land packages and must be paid out before 30 years. This can be done by buying the Director’s share or selling the house.

Labor will make it easier for Tasmanians to own their own home by reducing the deposit percentage of the purchase price that is required to contribute from five to four per cent and the minimum deposit from $3000 to $2000 whichever is the greater.

To be eligible for HomeShare you must:

  • have an income to meet the costs of purchasing and owning a home.

  • be under income and asset limits (tenants in Housing Tasmania properties are exempt from this requirement)

  • be an Australian citizen or permanent resident, living in Tasmania

  • be an individual at least 18 years old (not a business or organisation)

  • have a minimum deposit of $2000 or four per cent of the purchase price, whichever is the greater

  • not own or have an interest in any other property (land)

  • not be an un-discharged bankrupt or discharged from bankruptcy within three years before the date of application

  • not owe any money to Housing Tasmania

  • not have received help under Streets Ahead or Home Ownership Assistance Program before

  • be able to pay legal and establishment fees

  • live in the house you buy (it has to be your main residence)

If you are eligible, you may be able to buy the following:

  • The house you are currently renting from Housing Tasmania.

  • A house that Housing Tasmania offers for sale.

  • A brand new house and land package.

Reducing the required deposit percentage from five to four per cent will help put home ownership back within reach of low income households.

Cost $400,000

Streets Ahead

Labor’s commitment to expand the Streets Ahead program has been welcomed by a broad range of stakeholders, including the building industry.

We will evaluate the success of the trial already announced on Hobart’s Eastern Shore with a view to expanding the program to include target suburbs in the North and North West of the State.

Streets Ahead can help with the deposit, mortgage insurance and legal costs. That means:

  1. $12 000 to assist with a house deposit.
  2. Up to $500 to assist with your mortgage insurance premium.
  3. Up to $500 to assist with legal costs associated with buying a house.
  4. Eligible Tasmanians will also be able to receive the First Home Owners Grant for new builds.
  5. Home buyers must live in the house they buy as their main residence and they cannot sell all or part of the property within three years of purchasing.

Cost: $1.3 million*

Long-term lease program

Too many people in the private rental market are experiencing the stress of insecure tenure.

Leases of 12 months, 6 months and even as short as 3 months make it difficult for tenants to plan for the future.

Labor wants to work proactively with landlords to address security of tenure issues.  We will conduct a pilot program to incentivise the provision of longer periods for new leases. 

Labor’s pilot will initially target renters over 55 in recognition of the difficulty many people in this age bracket have in securing an appropriate and affordable rental.

An incentive payment of $4000 will be paid to landlords at the end of a four-year lease period.

The trial will include a hardship clause to ensure both the tenant and landlord are protected if the terms of the lease are breached.

Cost: $400,000

Evaluation of Interstate Taxation Arrangements

Labor will commission a review of taxation measures introduced interstate, including foreign investor and vacant property taxes to determine if they could have a positive impact on housing affordability in Tasmania.

Tasmanians expect their government to look at all reasonable measures to improve housing affordability.

However, we must take a measured and evidenced based approach to the issue of taxation to avoid discouraging investment.

Sharing Economy

Labor understands that the sharing economy has had a significant disruptive impact on a range of markets.

Labor wants to understand the impact that home sharing businesses may be having on the availability of rental properties in Tasmania.

To do this Labor will establish a working group with key stakeholders including TasCoss, experts from the University of Tasmania, State Government, REIT and home sharing websites to develop strategies to ensure the sector minimises its impact on the rental market.