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Housing ownership closer to becoming a reality for young people

Anita Verrell and new home owner Stacey Eaves

Anita Verrell and new home owner Stacey Eaves

For 21 year-old cleaner Stacey Eaves, becoming a proud new property owner as part of the Tasmanian Government’s Better Housing Futures strategy, is a major milestone.

“I feel excited and anxious, because this is a big thing,” Miss Eaves said.

“This is a lot more affordable [than other houses on the market] so it’ll be easier to save more now. “This is a good future investment.”

The Bridgewater property was developed and sold by community housing provider Centacare Evolve Housing, which is the first community housing provider in Tasmania to develop vacant land in Housing Tasmania’s existing portfolio for the purposes of constructing affordable housing.

Miss Eave’s mother, Anita Verrell, who will be living next door and helped her purchase the property, was thrilled with her daughter’s success.

“I feel very comfortable [as] she’s somewhere I can see her, and she’s doing this at such a young age as well,” Miss Verrell said.

“I’ve told her time and again, ‘do not rent’ save your money and buy.

“My advice to other young people would be to keep saving and just wait for the right opportunity.”

Centacare Evolve Housing Executive Director Tim Gourlay, said that the sale of the two bedroom unit signifies an important step for young people in the community.

“One of the key challenges of any young person today who wants to achieve the Australian dream of home ownership is the lack of affordability,” Mr Gourlay said.

“Home ownership is beyond the reach of most young people, particularly in the larger cities like Melbourne and Sydney, where price values are escalating … well beyond a young couple’s capacity to save a deposit for a home.”

Archbishop Julian, who attended the signing of the contract for sale, also spoke of the solution the scheme provided for young people struggling to enter the property market.

“It overcomes [many] obstacles [to home ownership] in life,” he said.

“It provides a breakthrough because it offers an affordable, brand new and beautiful house.”

The property is one of 16 currently under construction and due for completion by the end of October this year, with a further 29 properties due to be offered for sale in late 2016.

The project is part of a commitment by Centacare Evolve Housing to develop 200 new homes in the Bridgewater Gagebrook precinct over 10 years.