Moffee for Breakfast, Triple M Coffs Coast

03 October 2023


Michael Moffett, Host: Well, I want to talk about the Regional First Home Buyers Guarantee. More than 10,000 people in regional Australia have taken advantage of it in the first year.

And joining me now to talk more about it is Tim Ayres, he's the Senator for NSW. He's on the line right now. Senator, good morning.

Tim Ayres, Assistant Minister for Trade and Manufacturing: Hey, Moffee. It's good to be on the show.

Michael Moffett: Mate, 10,000 people, well, more than 10,000 have taken it up across the country. Does that surprise you, considering we've got a cost of living crisis at the moment? But, I mean, obviously, we do have a housing crisis as well.

Assistant Minister: Well, that's right. There's so much demand for housing out there. This is a scheme that is a small part of the Albanese Government's arsenal of policy that we're directing towards the housing crisis. So, what this does is it allows - if you're in regional Australia, it allows you to buy a home with just a 5 per cent deposit. And because the government stands behind the mortgage, effectively, it's a 5 per cent deposit, and you can avoid paying Lenders’ Mortgage Insurance, which for anybody who's got a mortgage, if you can dodge paying the lenders’ insurance it's a substantial cost saving. It's just part of the approach that we're taking.

So, there's a $10 billion housing fund that we got through the Parliament a few weeks ago. So, that's there to help buy 30,000 homes. There's a series of other policies that are directed towards making sure we build 1.2 million homes over the next five years. This is every bit of policy that we can engage - every bit of hard work that we can do is there to try and make sure that we support people in the homes.

And if you look at that 10,000 in regional Australia. I grew up just up the road in Glen Innes, so I know how hard it is in regional Australia to buy a home. It has, the 10,000 spread across the country is a big number, but when you look at your listening area, there's 151 people who've been able to buy a home, 151 new homes or families that wouldn't have otherwise been able to be purchased. Low and middle income families able to access a home for the first time, and that's a very, very good thing.

Michael Moffett: And, I mean, back in July, there were some changes as well, which meant that siblings, friends, other family members were eligible to have a joint application as well, which - that also helps another tier, doesn't it, of home ownership?

Assistant Minister: Well, we're trying to find every way that we can to support families who are struggling with the cost of living, are struggling with the rising cost of housing. And we're trying to help families every way we can to get into housing and to get housing security. And if that means people, now more than ever, people and families are teaming up, are supporting each other to buy a home, well, we've found a way to give them a hand to do that. And that's part of what is going to be an enormous task.

That target of 1.2 million homes, we are supporting that. $10 billion in a Future Fund, $3 billion New Homes Bonus, $500 million there for Housing Support Program. $2 billion that we've negotiated with the states, because we want to make sure that we're working cooperatively across the levels of government. Not just the Federal Government pointing the finger and trying to find someone to blame – that's what the previous government did. Actually work cooperatively across the political aisle with the states and with local government to deliver more homes.

This is a very big job for us and we're going to get our sleeves rolled up. And that $2 billion Housing Accelerator is there to say to the states – listen, if you bring on housing supply for low-income families faster, we've got some support for you there. We've lifted Commonwealth Rent Assistance by the biggest amount in a generation, and I'm really pleased that in your listening area, that's starting to have an impact.

Michael Moffett: Well, Tim, it's a long road ahead and it's a big task to get it done, but well done, mate, on where we are so far.

Assistant Minister: Well, we're just going to keep plugging away. There's lots of work in front of us and I'm pleased to see we're seeing early progress.

Michael Moffett: Yeah, lovely stuff. Good on you, Tim.

Assistant Minister: Good on you, Moffee. Catch you later.