MELBOURNE, AAP – The Victorian government is launching a $500 million fund to help about 3000 people buy their own home.

Under the scheme, homebuyers will need a five per cent deposit, while the state government will pay up to a quarter of the purchase price in exchange for an equivalent stake in the property which owners can buy out over time.

The Victorian Homebuyer Fund will be available to people aged over 18 who don’t have an interest in real estate and who meet income thresholds.

The value of the property can’t be more than $950,000 in Melbourne and Geelong, or $600,000 in the rest of the state.

Treasurer Tim Pallas says the fund will help people own a safe and secure home.

“Some people feel that their dream is being denied them, that they are being denied home ownership,” he told reporters on Friday.

“We know these people would be able to service mortgages.”

The fund is an expansion of a pilot program that has already helped 335 households get into the market.

Unlike the pilot scheme, participants do not have to be buying their first home, can buy real estate in a broader range of locations, and can have higher household incomes.