Low-income earners to get boost

Thursday 29 April 2004

A boost to the accommodation supplement is expected to offer immediate relief to low-income earners in the Budget as the Government considers longer-term measures for first-home hopefuls squeezed out of the property market.

By The Landlord

A housing strategy due for release today canvasses options to boost home ownership including savings incentives, deposit assistance, shared equity and sweat equity as the Government looks at ways to bridge the widening gap between house prices and incomes among the lowest paid.

The strategy also signals tougher and potentially costly building standards because of concerns about the shoddy state of New Zealand's housing stock and the downstream health effects. Wider provision of social housing by private landlords and nonprofit groups is another proposal.

But more immediate housing relief for low-income earners struggling to keep pace with rising rent and mortgage payments is expected in next month's Budget when the accommodation supplement is tipped to rise.

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