Dennington first-home scheme a winner

A PILOT scheme offering extra incentives for low-income applicants to buy their first home in Warrnambool is kicking goals with 10 grants totalling $150,000 paid in the first six months.

It is expected that up to 100 lots in the new north Dennington residential zone could be sold through the special $1.5 million affordability program, which is a partnership between Warrnambool City Council and the federal government.

Eligible adults with gross household income of $80,000 and no dependants can apply for a $15,000 grant while those with dependants and household income up to $90,000 can receive $20,000. This is in addition to government first-home incentives.

The grants are part of a Building Better Regional Cities funding package announced last year to help the council construct Coghlans Road as a feeder route to new residential areas.

Councillors were told on Monday night 10 applicants had been successful and one was being assessed.

Average market price for the vacant lots purchased by the applicants was $119,000 and with the grant they paid only $104,000.

The average gross household income of applicants so far is $53,500 — in line with the city’s median income — and the average age is 31.

Cr Rob Askew said the program was a win/win for applicants, the city and building trades industry which gained work. “It’s been a success story in being able to source funding to do Coghlans Road infrastructure and to help young families purchase a home,” he said.

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