A lender chief executive has told a Senate Inquiry Australians should be allowed to access their super funds for house deposits.
Speaking to the Senate Inquiry on Affordable Housing, HomeStart CEO John Oliver has argued that first homebuyers should have access to their superannuation to contribute to deposits for home purchases. Oliver said such programs already exist in other countries.
“We are aware of the Canadian Home Buyers Plan which allows borrowers to use up to $25,000 of their superannuation for a deposit and then repay the funds later,” he said.
Oliver said access to finance was as important a factor in housing affordability as supply and demand.
“It is ironic that a household in difficulty with their mortgage has the option to access superannuation to clear arrears, whereas a household in otherwise good financial condition cannot temporarily access their super for a deposit," Oliver said.
Oliver also called on other states to replicate HomeStart's model. The lender, established by the South Australian government in 1989, allows first homebuyers to use lower deposits, considers a wider range of income sources for loan servicing and provides alternatives to LMI.
“What HomeStart has shown over the last 25 years is that our model works very well in addressing housing affordability. Other states could readily replicate the HomeStart model as a revenue-positive way of delivering affordable home ownership assistance," Oliver said.