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Thousands of teachers and nurses get help buying a home in a $780 million NSW government scheme

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Frontline workers and singles over 50 are getting ‘a head start’ on the NSW real estate market, with the state government introducing a shared housing scheme in this week’s budget.

Prime Minister Dominic Perrottet says housing affordability is becoming a challenge for families across the state.

“Whether you’re in the city or in the bush, we want to make sure you have the opportunity to come into the house to provide that stability, to provide that opportunity for you and your families,” he said of Tallawong on Sunday.

Frontline workers and singles over 50 get ‘a head start’ on the NSW real estate market in a new $780 million plan (photo, nurses at Bondi Beach in November 2020)

Prime Minister Dominic Perrottet (pictured Thursday with his daughter Harriet) says housing affordability is becoming a challenge for families across the state

Prime Minister Dominic Perrottet (pictured Thursday with his daughter Harriet) says housing affordability is becoming a challenge for families across the state

“We are announcing a shared stock plan that will give our frontline workers, our teachers, our nurses, our police officers the chance to get a leg up and get into the real estate market.”

The $780.4 million settlement, announced ahead of Tuesday’s 2022-2023 state budget, is open to 3,000 frontline workers and single parents or single adults over the age of 50.

It is open to singles earning up to $90,000 a year, or couples earning up to $120,000.

The government will contribute up to 40 percent of the equity of a new home and up to 30 percent of an existing home, and will require a two percent down payment.

The scheme would align with the federal government’s shared-share scheme, together doubling the number of homes available to frontline workers and singles over 50, the prime minister said.

The $780.4 million settlement, announced ahead of Tuesday's state budget, is open to 3,000 frontline workers and single parents or singles over 50 (pictured, a Sydney auctioneer)

The $780.4 million settlement, announced ahead of Tuesday’s state budget, is open to 3,000 frontline workers and single parents or singles over 50 (pictured, a Sydney auctioneer)

Eligible properties are capped at $950,000 in metropolitan Sydney and $600,000 in other parts of the state (pictured, a teacher in Melbourne in May 2020)

Eligible properties are capped at $950,000 in metropolitan Sydney and $600,000 in other parts of the state (pictured, a teacher in Melbourne in May 2020)

NSW Treasurer Matt Kean said the announcement was about helping people achieve their goals and make their dreams come true.

“One of the specific cohorts that we’re targeting is that cohort that falls too short and that’s older singles, especially women who are divorced,” said Mr. Kean.

‘We want to make it as easy as possible for that cohort to get back on their feet safely.’

Eligible properties are limited to $950,000 in metropolitan Sydney and $600,000 in other parts of the state.

Greens housing spokeswoman Jenny Leong criticized the scheme, saying the people most desperate for housing would not qualify.

NSW Treasurer Matt Kean (pictured Friday) said the new real estate plan was about helping people achieve their goals and live their dreams

NSW Treasurer Matt Kean (pictured Friday) said the new real estate plan was about helping people achieve their goals and live their dreams

“This scheme is so limited in terms of who has access to it that it has no benefit to people who qualify and work in the Sydney suburbs, with virtually no properties for a family that meets the price cap.”

The government also announced that the Aboriginal flag will have a permanent place on the Sydney Harbor Bridge, making a $25 million commitment to install a third flagpole by the end of the year.

“Our Indigenous history must be celebrated and recognized so that young Australians understand the rich and enduring culture we have here with our past,” Perrottet said in a pre-budget statement on Sunday.

The state government has also pledged $37.9 million to improve before and after school care and $206 million for a sustainable agriculture program.

Treasurer Matt Kean says the groundbreaking program will reward farmers who volunteer to reduce carbon emissions and protect biodiversity.

NSW Labor Leader Chris Minns (pictured in February) has called on the government to include urgent living expenses in its upcoming budget, due Tuesday

NSW Labor Leader Chris Minns (pictured in February) has called on the government to include urgent living expenses in its upcoming budget, due Tuesday

The NSW government has also pledged $56.4 million to build a four-day walking route on the Dorrigo Escarpment through the Gondwana Rainforests on NSW’s Mid-North Coast.

Following the introduction of a new code of conduct this year, approximately $28 million has also been committed to the state’s forestry industry, supporting and training farmers.

Women in small businesses also get free access to TAFE courses and professional advice thanks to $15 million over the next four years.

NSW labor leader Chris Minns called on the government to include urgent living expenses in its upcoming budget, saying key measures, including Dine and Discover Vouchers and $265 million in energy rebates, had gone unused in the past year.

‘The cost of living is quickly becoming the main issue in New South Wales – the cost of everything is skyrocketing in New South Wales and people just can’t afford it,’ said Mr Minns.

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