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Buy a Home with 2% Deposit! Support for Domestic Violence Survivors

Buy a Home with 2% Deposit!

KEY TAKE OUTS:

  • If someone has experienced domestic or family violence in the last 5 years (possibly extended for up to 10 years on application) they can be eligible for the Governments Shared Equity Home Buyer Helper program 
  • Government may contribute up to 30% of the total purchase price for an established home or up to 40% of the total purchase price for a new or newly built home 
  • Government does not charge rent, interest or require payments to be made on their contribution to the purchase price 

 

BODY OF BLOG: 

What is the Shared Equity Home Buyer Helper Scheme? 

The Shared Equity Home Buyer Helper Scheme (the “Scheme”), has been extended to include people who have experienced a domestic or family violence in the last 5 years (possibly extended for up to 10 years on application) to purchase a property to be used as their main residence.  

There is also no Lenders Mortgage Insurance required with the Scheme which save a purchaser potentially thousands of dollars.  

The Government will contribute a proportion of the purchase price in exchange for an equivalent intertest in the property. The maximum contributions are as follows: 

  • Up to 30% of the total purchase price for an established home or 
  • Up to 40% of the total purchase price for a new or newly built home 

For example, if the Government contributes 30% of the purchase price, the Government would then own a 30% share of the property and the buyer would own the remaining 70% of the property.  

The Government secures its interest in the property be registering a second mortgage on the title. 

There is no interest, rent or payments required to be made to the government for this contribution during the time you own the home. However, when the home is sold the government is paid the contributing percentage from the sale price. For example, if the government contributed 30% of the purchase price when purchased, they would be paid 30% of the sale price when the property sells.  

Are you Eligible? 

To be eligible to apply for the Scheme as a person who has experienced domestic or family violence you will need to meet the following requirements: 

  • have a gross annual income of no more than $93,200 for singles and $124,200 for joint applicants. You cannot apply with the person who perpetrated the violence; 
  • your current assets must not exceed 65% of the total purchase price; 
  • if you currently own a property or an interest/share in a property, you must no longer own any property by the final stage of the application; 
  • if you have in excess of $100,000 in savings, you may be asked to contribute excess savings to the deposit; 
  • buy a home with a purchase price of no more than $950,000 in Sydney and major regional centres (Newcastle, Lake Macquarie, Illawarra, Central Coast or North Coast of NSW) or no more than $600,000 in other regional areas and meet the financial assets test; 
  • be at least 18 years old; 
  • be an Australian or New Zealand citizen. Or a permanent Australian resident; 
  • have a minimum deposit of 2% of the purchase price; 
  • occupy the property as your principal place of residence; 
  • supply evidence that you have experienced domestic or family violence (either police/court document or alternative document; and 
  • if you have accessed the legal system you will be required to provide evidence of a domestic violence offence resulting in a conviction or finding of guilt; a current Final Apprehended Domestic Violence Order or one that expired in the last 5 years; or a court record showing the perpetrator was found guilty or convicted of a domestic violence offence against you. 

What will the Government Contribute? 

The maximum contribution towards a purchase price that the Government will provide under the Scheme is up to 40% of the purchase price for a new home or up to 30% of the purchase price for an existing home.  

The Government’s lender will conduct an assessment and decide on the exact amount of contribution that will be provided.  

The Government contribution is only towards the purchase price. Other costs involved in purchasing a property such as stamp duty, legal fees etc. are not included and must be paid for by the purchaser. 

The purchaser will still be eligible to receive any stamp duty concession or exemption where applicable. 

Ongoing Obligations 

To continue to maintain eligibility, a purchaser must pay for property costs such as rates etc, maintain the property and comply with a periodic review on ongoing eligibility.  

As long as the buyer continues to meet the eligibility requirements, no interest will be charged and there will be no need to make repayments on the Governments contribution towards the purchase price or pay any rent.  

Purchasers can make voluntary payments to increase their share in the property. 

If it is determined that the purchaser no longer meets the eligibility criteria, the purchaser may be required to begin repayments of the Government’s share in the property. 

If for example regarding the income requirements, if your income exceeds the threshold on two consecutive annual review dates, you will be required to start making repayments.  

It is also worth noting that for certain modifications or renovations, a purchaser may require approval from the Government.  

What happens if the property is sold? 

When the property is sold the Governments mortgage on the title will be discharged and the Government will receive as full payment of the mortgage, the same share percentage of the price the property sold for as they initially contributed.  

The Government will share in the gains or losses with the participant from the sale.  

For example if the property was purchased for $500,000 initially and the Government contributed 40% of that price being $200,000.00, then when the property is sold for less than originally purchased, say it is only sold for $450,000, then the government will only receive 40% of the new sale price being $180,000 not the full $200,000 initially contributed.  

This is the same for any profit made on the initial purchase price, the government will be paid the same share of the sale price as they originally contributed.  

How to check your eligibility and apply to participate in the Scheme? 

If you believe you are eligible for the Scheme you can check and apply on the Bendigo Bank website here https://www.bendigobank.com.au/personal/home-loans/nsw-shared-equity/ 

Further information can also be found at https://www.nsw.gov.au/housing-and-construction/shared-equity 

Further considerations for victim-survivors 

If you are preparing for, or in the midst of, divorce or property settlement with a perpetrator, it is recommended to finalise same and obtain any required orders from the Courts before beginning your application so any home purchased under the Scheme is protected from forming part of any asset pool. 

If there is an Apprehended Violence Order in place and you successfully purchaser via the Scheme it is imperative that you notify the police of any change of address so the terms of the AVO can be amended to include any new home. 

 

CONCLUSION  

Take the first step towards securing your new home with confidence. At Coutts Lawyers & Conveyancers, we offer: 

  • Expert Guidance: Our experienced team provides clear and comprehensive advice to help you navigate the Shared Equity Home Buyer Helper Scheme. 
  • Legal Protection: We handle all legal aspects of your property purchase, ensuring your interests are safeguarded and your new home is secure. 
  • Personalised Service: We understand the sensitive nature of domestic and family violence cases and offer compassionate, personalized support throughout the process. 

Contact Coutts today to start your application and secure your future. Let us help you make this important step with confidence and peace of mind. 

Reach out now and take the first step towards your new home! 

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