The Green Party is launching a plan today to help people struggling with student loans get into their first home.
Green MP Gareth Hughes’s Student Loan Scheme First Home Repayment Diversion Bill was launched today, the latest in a series of Green Party policies to address the housing crisis.
“Many young people are struggling to get a house deposit together and we want to make it easier and faster for them to get a foot in the door,” said Green Party tertiary spokesperson Gareth Hughes
“Our Faster into Homes plan will allow students to defer paying back their student loan for a period to help them save for a first home. Under this innovative scheme, anyone who is earning over the repayment threshold of $19,000 could defer part or all of their mandatory 12% student loan repayment into a first home savings account.
“Combined with KiwiSaver, this would make a huge difference for young people who are struggling with low wage growth and rapidly rising house prices across the country. For example, a bachelor’s graduate on a median wage could save $18,000 after five years.
“National has made it increasingly harder for graduates to get into their first home by failing to act quickly to stop the housing crisis. To add insult to injury, the Government has also increased the student loan repayment threshold from 10 to 12%, halved the Government’s annual KiwiSaver contribution and removed the bonus incentive for lump sum student loan repayments.
“The Government are out of ideas for solving the housing crisis; this is one of many Green Party initiatives to make sure that all New Zealanders have access to warm, dry, affordable homes.
“Helping young people to buy a house will also create an incentive for them to remain in New Zealand to contribute to our economy and our communities,” said Mr Hughes.