The Federal Government has allocated $680 million to construction stimulus as part of a stimulus package to support Australia’s hard hit residential construction industry.
In an effort to keep tradies employed in the residential construction industry, the HomeBuilder grant program provides a $25000 grant to eligible owner occupiers that can be used to build a new home or substantially renovate their existing home. This is a short term grant where a contract must be signed between June 4 and December 31, 2020 with construction to start within 3 months of the date of any contract being signed.
The purpose of this grant is to try and avoid dire predictions from those in the industry. Master Builders Australia and the State Master Builders Associations have presented a united front in advocating for the establishment of this stimulus package. There is fear amongst these industry bodies that the economic downturn as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic could see thousands of projects cancelled and hundreds of thousands of jobs lost if the Government does not intervene. It is hoped that this targeted program will help keep thousands of small business active, staff employed and sub-contractors in work. They are all relieved after this week’s announcement. Denita Wawn, CEO of Master Builders Australia, believes that the HomeBuilder scheme will mean $3 benefit to the economy for every $1 spent in housing construction activity.
“HomeBuilder will be a lifeline for an industry facing a valley of death in the coming months. It will mean more new homes, more small businesses and jobs are protected and provide a stronger bridge to economic recovery for our country,” Denita Wawn, CEO of Master Builders Australia said.
The Government wants those accessing the grant to have some skin in the game. The Government hopes that by offering this $25000 incentive that they will encourage individuals and families to bring forward projects they may have planned for the future.
The Grant applies to new builds up to $750000 and any renovation projects must be a minimum of $150000 and is also capped at $750000. Any eligible renovation project is only available to a principal residence and must be on a house valued at less than $1.5 million dollars
The HomeBuilder grant is only available to owner occupiers, cannot be accessed as a trust or a company. Any applicant must also be an Australian citizen aged over 18 years old.
Eligibility for the HomeBuilder Grant is also means tested. You must fit under one of the two following income caps to be eligible for the grant. If you are an individual you must be earning less than $125000. For a couple the cap is $200000 based on your 2018-2019 tax returns.
CEO Denita Wawn also praised the Federal Government for ensuring consumers were protected when accessing the HomeBuilder Grant. “The scheme is structured to get building activity going immediately and to provide safeguards around quality and consumer protection. Making HomeBuilder grants accessible through state and territory channels should streamline its rollout and building work must be carried out by a registered or licensed builder,” she said.