KiwiSaver HomeStart grant
Published Housing NZ: 27 July 2018
How does the HomeStart grant work?
After three years of regularly contributing to KiwiSaver (of at least the minimum allowable percentage of your total income) you may be entitled to the HomeStart grant.
You can apply for the HomeStart grant or pre-approval if you have belonged and contributed to a KiwiSaver scheme, complying fund or exempt employer scheme for at least three years.
Buying an Existing Home
If you are purchasing an existing/older home, the HomeStart grant is $1,000 for each year of contribution to the scheme:
- 3 years of contributing = $3,000 (the minimum you can get)
- 4 years of contributing = $4,000
- 5 years of contributing = $5,000 (the maximum you can get).
Building a New Home
If you are purchasing a new home, a property bought off the plans or land to build a new home on, the HomeStart grant is $2,000 for each year of contribution to the scheme. If you are purchasing land to build a new home on, there is a maximum amount the combined land and new home can cost.
- 3 years of contributing = $6,000
(the minimum you can get)
- 4 years of contributing = $8,000
- 5 years of contributing = $10,000
(the maximum you can get)
Please note: There are other eligibility criteria
A home which received its building code compliance certificate fewer than six months before Housing New Zealand receives a KiwiSaver HomeStart grant application is considered a new home.
The certificate must relate to the home as a whole and not only some building work on the home.
Buying a vacant residential section and planning to relocate an existing/older house on the site does not constitute a new build property and will only be eligible for a HomeStart grant of between $3,000 and $5,000.
In cases of properties being bought off the plans, the KiwiSaver HomeStart grant may be paid out prior to settlement to assist you with the initial payment or progress payment required as stated in the agreement you have entered into. In these cases, the grant must be held in trust, in escrow or similar arrangement, with payment to the developer only on the settlement.
Seek Legal Advice
Before signing any contract or agreement, you should always seek legal advice.
If you are considering buying a property off the plans, it is highly recommended that you discuss this with your solicitor before signing the agreement.
You will also need to ensure that there are projected start and completion dates stipulated on the contract and that the developer is aware that the KiwiSaver HomeStart grant is to be held in trust or in escrow until settlement date.
Please note that Housing New Zealand requires at least four weeks/20 working days from receiving an application through to paying out the KiwiSaver HomeStart grant. Also, please ensure that if you are applying for the grant in order to meet the financial conditions of your agreement for sale and purchase, you do so at least 10 working days prior to the unconditional date.
Applications that do not provide the required four weeks’ notice may not be accepted and therefore the KiwiSaver HomeStart grant may not be paid out.
The KiwiSaver HomeStart grant will not be paid out after the settlement has occurred.
Pre-approval for KiwiSaver Home Start Grant
If you are looking for your first home but haven’t yet found the right house, you can apply for pre-approval of your KiwiSaver HomeStart application. These are valid for six months and will also assist you when applying for finance pre-approval. Once pre-approved and within the 6 month period, you only need to provide us with a copy of a signed agreement for sale and purchase, along with evidence that you have a deposit of at least 10% of the property purchase price, no later than 10 working days prior to the settlement date.
You need to live in the house you have bought for a minimum of six months from the settlement date.
Purchasing Land with the KiwiSaver HomeStart Grant
If you use the KiwiSaver HomeStart grant to purchase land to build a house on, you need to live in that house for a minimum of six months from the issue of the code compliance certificate. If you move out before the relevant six month period ends, you may be required to pay the KiwiSaver HomeStart grant back, with interest.
Buying with Other People
You can also buy a property with other people, who may or may not be KiwiSaver members.
If they are members, they too may qualify for a KiwiSaver HomeStart grant.
They are also required to complete and submit an application for consideration.
Maximum Value of Grant
However, regardless of the number of eligible KiwiSaver members purchasing a home together, no more than $10,000 worth of grants will be paid for the purchase of an existing/older property and no more than $20,000 for a new home or for the purchase of land on which a home will be built.
You can only receive the KiwiSaver HomeStart grant or its predecessor, the KiwiSaver deposit subsidy, once.
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