New Forms of Home Ownership

Identifying barriers to increase access to home ownership


We worked with HomeStart finance to make home ownership a reality for more people, in more ways.

The situation

Access to a stable, safe and secure home is something we all need to thrive. Unfortunately, an increasing number of Australians don’t have that.  Older women, who due to demographic changes and gender inequity are particularly affected. They;

  • Are increasingly poorer (tending to retire with significantly less superannuation than men).
  • Are the fastest growing group of homeless people in Australia.
  • Between 2006 – 2011 older single women in private rentals increased by 50%.

Our vision

We need to think differently is we’re to see more people able to experience belonging, self-determination and the ability to express their identities.

We know we need to re-imagine how we live, with new forms of home ownership being one opportunity for innovation.

Our approach

This project aimed to develop deep insight into the barriers to home ownership, test innovative concepts for increasing access to home ownership, as well as developing the capability of our partner (HomeStart Finance) to be more innovative in their approach (within this project, and across their business. To build the capability of HomeStart Finance, we trained and mentored their team throughout the project.

“The experience and insights gained from this project are profound in that so much is learned from exploring real people, their motivations and what matters to them.”

– David Adams, Product Specialist

TACSI insights

We tested several concepts for increasing access to home ownership with people looking to own a home, public and community housing providers, and private investors. HomeStart:

  • Better understood the events and experiences that can act as barriers towards home ownership. In particular, for groups such as migrants, casual contract workers, those with caring responsibilities and those facing long-term or chronic health conditions.

Better understood the assumptions many private investors operate under in managing their investments, providing the opportunity to use those assumptions to spot new opportunities for business model innovation.


Based on our testing, HomeStart got rid of several ideas that wouldn’t have worked. That saved significant time and money that can now be redirected into activities that will create more social impact, and be more financially sustainable for HomeStart.

HomeStart developed greater understanding and ability to  incorporate customer needs, which has already improved work happening elsewhere in the organisation.

Through learning what works, and improving understanding of the barriers to home ownership, HomeStart are using those insights to make home ownership more of a reality to more people, in more ways.

We’ll continue to build on this work across Australia, developing and implementing bold ideas that increase access to home ownership.

Next steps

We’ll continue to build on this work across Australia, developing and implementing bold ideas that increase access to home ownership.