Saskatchewan Party Leader Brad Wall has announced a plan aimed at helping young adults buy their first homes and keep them in the province.

The premier says, if re-elected, his government would allow anyone receiving benefits under the graduate retention program to use up to $10,000 for a down payment.

The program provides tax credits to young people who stay in Saskatchewan to work after they finish university.

Wall says many young people have told him they could afford to make monthly mortgage payments once they start working. But they say they have a hard time saving enough for a down payment.

He says buying a home is a sign of growth for the province.

"A better sign that they're going to stay here for the long-term is if they buy a house, if they put down roots," Wall said Monday.

The premier says a young couple, where both are eligible for the graduate retention program, could combine the money and get $20,000 towards a down payment.

Wall says the program would cost $900,000 in the first year and go up to $3.6 million by the fourth year.

The home ownership help would begin May 1.

The premier also says his party would increase the Saskatchewan Advantage Scholarship from $500 to $750 a year, but that promise would only come "once the province's finances strengthen."

That increase will cost $4.5 million a year when fully implemented, he said.

Saskatchewan is running a $427 million deficit this fiscal year and a deficit is planned for next year as well.