Domestic abuse survivors get NSW’s pledge to help them get their own homes

 The initiative will provide a far more accurate picture of the women whose lives are taken by partners.

The initiative will provide a far more accurate picture of the women whose lives are taken by partners. Photo: Getty

Shared equity – a housing scheme where eligible people buy homes in partnership with government – must be a part of NSW’s future, the state Treasurer says.

The $780 million housing affordability measure offers frontline workers and older singles a path into the housing market by having the state government take a stake of up to 40 per cent in the property.

An expansion to include domestic violence survivors to either retain their home or buy a new one was announced on Sunday.

“This scheme won’t be the answer for every victim-survivor’s housing needs,” Treasurer Daniel Mookhey said.

“But it’s an important step in making sure people have the right to stay in their home … or buy a new one.”

While preliminary advice suggested a two-year pilot announced by the previous government “requires work”, the Treasurer endorsed the wider model.

“Shared equity has to be a part of NSW’s housing solutions,” he said.

“We’ve seen states such as Western Australia and Victoria operate these schemes for years, we have lessons to learn from those states, as well as (this) pilot that’s been underway for the last five months.”

Under the NSW scheme, the state 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.

Up to 3000 frontline workers and single parents or singles aged over 50 can enrol.

Singles must earn less than $90,000 a year while couples can’t exceed $120,000. A property price cap also exists – $950,000 in Sydney and major regional centres or $600,000 elsewhere.

Escape route for DV survivors

That higher purchase cap was one of the elements under review by a wider probe into the state’s expenditure ahead of the September 19 budget, Mr Mookhey said.

How the government determines victim-survivors’ eligibility to join the shared equity scheme will be nutted out by a task force that includes Mr Mookhey, violence prevention minister Jodie Harrison and advocacy and support agency Domestic Violence NSW.

DVNSW said the scheme would help reduce barriers for women escaping abuse.

“We know that over 7000 Australians are forced to return to the perpetrator each year because of a lack of affordable places to live,” deputy chief executive Elise Phillips said.

The expansion also garnered support from Homelessness NSW which said family and domestic violence was the leading cause of homelessness for women and children.


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