Labor and Greens Clash over Housing

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Labor and Greens Clash over Housing

Labor and the Greens have clashed over the government's Help to Buy scheme, a shared home ownership program that would assist low-income households with purchasing homes. The Greens support the scheme, but demand the scrapping of negative gearing and rent caps. The government refuses to negotiate.The Help to Buy scheme provides eligible participants with up to 40% of a new home's value or 30% of an existing home's value. Participating households would co-own the home with Housing Australia, a government housing body. The government's share would be repaid upon the sale of the property, along with a share of any appreciation in value.Critics argue that the Help to Buy scheme may increase house prices overall due to increased demand. Other complications include determining the government's share in home renovations, as well as arrangements in the event of property value decline or mortgage foreclosure. The government's decision to leave these details to the housing minister for later determination creates flexibility but also uncertainty for the impending debate.Negative gearing is a tax break that allows property investors to deduct losses from their taxable income. This feature has been criticized for contributing to high house prices. The Greens argue for limiting or eliminating negative gearing, while the government has avoided explicitly ruling out future changes.