1 Sep 2022

Westpac has become the first major bank to sign up to the ‘Secure Home’ housing programme run by the not-for-profit Queenstown Lakes Community Housing Trust.

The scheme provides residents of Queenstown Lakes the opportunity to access affordable specialist lending to purchase a house on land owned by the Trust and leased to the participant.

Ground rent is charged at well below market value. Once an owner is ready to sell, the house will be purchased back by the Trust at the original purchase price, plus an adjustment for inflation and any property improvements.

Westpac NZ joins SBS Bank as a backer of the ‘Secure Home’ housing programme.

The Queenstown Lakes Community Housing Trust Chief Executive Julie Scott says she’s delighted to have Westpac signed up as an official lender to Secure Home households.

“Since we launched the programme three years ago, we’ve been working hard to scale up on its delivery. Getting all the major trading banks on board forms part of this, along with sharing the model with other not-for-profit providers around the country,” says Ms Scott.

“Affordability has long been an issue for first home buyers in our district, and it’s heartening to see banks like Westpac supporting initiatives to make home ownership a reality for those previously locked out.”

Westpac NZ Chief Executive Catherine McGrath says the initiative provides a path to home ownership for first home buyers with modest deposits, as they only need to secure lending for the cost of the dwelling, excluding the land.

“This partnership will create new opportunities for New Zealanders to purchase a home – providing the benefits of ownership such as security of tenure and the ability to make improvements – but at a much more affordable price,” says Ms McGrath.

“Lending that involves unconventional land ownership arrangements can be quite complex, but the model we have created with the Trust gives us a blueprint we can use in future partnerships in other regions.”

"Thanks to Julie and her team, this pioneering agreement will open the door for home ownership for many New Zealanders throughout the country.”

The paperwork making Westpac NZ an official Secure Home lender for the programme was executed on 29 June 2022.

More information on the Secure Home programme and examples of how the scheme works can be found here.