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Shared equity program allows residents to unpack for good

A unique pilot program, Unpack for Good™ that helps people living in community housing purchase their own home has launched in regional Victoria.

Pioneered by Community Sector Banking and Haven; Home Safe in Victoria, and Housing Plus in regional NSW, Unpack for Good aims to address demand for more affordable housing in regional areas.

Under the pilot, residents will be able to co-own their home with their housing provider – sharing ownership lowers the cost of purchasing the home for residents, meaning they can buy a home that would otherwise be unaffordable.

The remainder of the property’s cost is made up by a regular Community Sector Banking home loan.

It’s the first time this type of agreement has been launched with community housing providers and a banking service in Australia. Not only does it assist residents into home ownership; it also frees up housing stock for community housing providers, allowing them to assist more people.

“We’re delighted to be piloting Unpack for Good, which aims to create much needed opportunities for those on the margins to realise the great dream of home ownership,” said David Fisher, CEO of Housing Plus.

“Our experience tells us the only cure for the housing crisis is more affordable housing stock – this innovative pilot has been designed to deliver just that in regional Australia,” said Ken Marchingo, CEO of Haven; Home, Safe.

“We know that safe, secure and affordable housing is the cornerstone of people building productive and healthy lives. This program is being bravely pioneered by some of Australia’s leading housing providers without government involvement – providing a hand up rather than a hand out,” said Andrew Cairns, CEO of Community Sector Banking.

“This pilot is not only a great example of innovation to tackle the housing crisis– it shows how financial services and housing providers can work together to create more affordable housing, strengthen regional economies, and improve intergenerational outcomes for years to come.”

Census data released earlier this year shows an increase in homelessness to 116,427 people, including 43,552 (39%) under 25 – an increase of 13.7% since 2011.

With ACOSS attributing some of this increase to a lack of affordable housing, programs such as Unpack for Good will play an important role in alleviating the problem.

Download a brochure on the project.

-article courtesy of Haven; Home, Safe