More slots, a new lender joining the panel, and revamped eligibility rules have taken effect as the Home Guarantee Scheme (HGS) enters a new financial year.

The National Housing Finance and Investment Corporation (NHFIC) announced several new things about the deposit scheme starting July 1, including new places for the three programs and expanded eligibility criteria.

More guarantees available

The NHFIC will open 50,000 new places for the financial year 2023-24. The places will be distributed across the three programs under the HGS:

  • First Home Guarantee (FHBG) – 35,000
  • Regional First Home Buyer Guarantee (RFHBG) – 10,000
  • Family Home Guarantee (FHG) – 5,000 places

Over the three years since its commencement, the HGS has provided guarantees to over 100,000 Australian homebuyers, with around a fifth of the places going to key workers.  

Housing Minister Julie Collins said these new places provide more opportunities for Australian homebuyers to enter the market sooner.

“The government is moving to meet the times because households have changed — I encourage Australians who may be finding the deposit hurdle difficult to overcome to look at support available under the Home Guarantee Scheme,” she said.

Expanded eligibility criteria                 

For this new financial year, the HGS will be catering to a broader group of first-home buyers with its expanded eligibility across three programs.

The biggest change was the inclusion of permanent residents, who can now apply for any of the three programs.

For the FHBG and RFHBG, previous homeowners who have not owned a property in Australia in the last ten years will now be able to apply.

Restrictions to married or de-facto couple and single applicants will be removed, allowing broader types of joint applications. This means that friends, siblings, and other family members can now apply.

An additional change will apply for the RFHBG — it now includes an exemption to the requirement to live in the region or adjacent region for the preceding 12-month period, which may apply to some employees required by their current employer to relocate.

This exemption was previously only available to Australian Defence Force members.

For the FHG, eligibility is expanded to include eligible single legal guardians of at least one dependent such as aunts, uncles, and grandparents.

Westpac joins panel of lenders

Westpac officially joins the lender panel of the scheme and will now administer HGS applications starting July 1.

These guarantees will be offered initially for Westpac and RAMS customers but will be available across Westpac Group’s banking brands later this year.

Overall, the scheme is available through 33 participating lenders.

NHFIC CEO Nathan Dal Bon said the expansion of several aspects of the scheme provides greater access to the property market, enabling Australians to bring forward plans to buy their own home.

“The Scheme assists eligible home buyers to overcome some of the key barriers to home ownership, including the challenge of saving a deposit,” he said.


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