The three houses prior to demolition. PHOTO: Jacob Chandler

347 first-time homes bought through HomeStart

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Nearly 350 first home buyers in Nelson have been helped into homes in the first year of the government’s HomeStart scheme.

Nelson MP Dr Nick Smith says the HomeStart scheme in its first year has provided $55.6 million in grants to 11,943 people to help them into their first home.

“In the Nelson region it helped 347 buyers with grants worth $1.153 million.”

The $435 million HomeStart scheme, which came into effect on April 1, 2015 to replace the KiwiSaver First Home Deposit Subsidy, has been projected to help 90,000 people over five years.

Under it, couples can apply for grants of up to $10,000 for a deposit on an existing home and up to $20,000 for a new-build.

“KiwiSaver HomeStart is part of the National-led government’s wide, ongoing programme to improve housing supply and affordability,” says Nick. “The overall programme includes freeing up more land for development, measures to help constrain building material costs and compliance costs, and steps to raise the productivity performance of the construction sector.”