Buying a family home can be exciting, nerve wracking, challenging and fun, all at the same time. However, in single-parent families, all the stress and excitement associated with building or purchasing a home solely falls on one person. The Australian Government has just made it easier for single parents to purchase their own home and keep their families together under the one roof with the Family Home Guarantee Scheme.
What is the Family Home Guarantee?
In a bid to support single parents to enter (or re-enter) the housing market, the Australian Government has introduced the Family Home Guarantee. The scheme provides single parents with at least one dependent child the opportunity to purchase an existing property, or build a new home, with only a 2% deposit.
To encourage single parents to purchase their own homes, the scheme doesn’t require applicants to be first home buyers – previous home owners who don’t currently own a home are also encouraged to apply.
What is the Purpose of the Family Home Guarantee?
If a first-time home buyer were to purchase a property with less than a 20% deposit, they would be required to pay lenders mortgage insurance. The Family Home Guarantee makes purchasing a home more accessible to single parents from single-income households who wish to purchase a home. Under the scheme, single parents are only required to have at least 2% of the value of an eligible property available as a deposit in order to apply for a loan through a participating lender.
The Family Home Guarantee is administered on behalf of the Australian Government by the National Housing Finance and Investment Corporation (NHFIC). Provided that the borrower successfully meets the eligibility criteria and supplies the minimum deposit of 2%, the NHFIC guarantees participating lenders the remaining 18% of the deposit. Because single parents aren’t required to come up with the full 20% deposit on their own, it enables them to enter, or re-enter, the housing market sooner.
Who is the Family Home Guarantee Available to?
The Family Home Guarantee is available to single parents with at least one dependent child. The single parent must be over 18 years of age, and is required to have a taxable income of no more than $125,00.
This guarantee isn’t only available to first-time home-buyers; it works to assist both first-time home buyers and previous owner-occupiers.
Who is Not Eligible for the Family Home Guarantee?
The Family Home Guarantee is not available to:
- Permanent Residents or anyone who isn’t an Australian Citizen
- Single parents who are separated but not divorced, in an estranged marriage, or in a defacto relationship
- Single parents with a deposit of more than 20%
- Single parents who own a home or have a lease of land in Australia
- Single parents who have a freehold interest in real property or a company title interest in land in Australia
It’s important to note that the single parent applying for the Family Home Guarantee must be the only name listed on both the loan and the certificate of the title.
Eligible Properties for the Family Home Guarantee
In order to receive the Family Home Guarantee, all properties must be residential – because the purpose of the guarantee is to help single parents to purchase a home for themselves and their dependents, investment properties are not covered under the scheme.
Eligible residential properties include:
- An existing home, unit, townhouse or apartment
- House and land packages
- Off-the-plan properties (meaning, properties that are yet to be built)
- Land with a separate contract to build a home
When is the Family Home Guarantee Available?
From 1 July 2021, an estimated 10,000 Family Home Guarantees will be made. The schemes will be available over the next four financial years – from 1 July 2021 to 30 June 2025.
How to Apply for the Family Home Guarantee Scheme
We strongly encourage eligible single parents who may be interested in applying for the Family Home Guarantee scheme to get in touch with our Melbourne-based finance team. Our team of mortgage brokers can help to prepare your application, review eligible properties, and put you on the right track with a free consultation.