Government refines HomeBuilder scheme

by Madison Utley22 Jun 2020

The “crucial final touches” the government has provided to its HomeBuilder scheme have been welcomed by the Housing Industry Association (HIA).

Last week, three key refinements were put forward to further shape the initiative:

  • allowing the necessary time for home buyers to arrange their finance approvals, building approvals and meet other legal requirements before work is required to commence, rather than the fixed three-month timeframe initially announced
  • clarifying that a sales contract for a home purchased off the plan will be eligible in the same way as a building contract
  • aligning the process with the current timing of payments for first homeowner grants for new homes

“The HomeBuilder grant has already boosted interest in buying a new home or carrying out a renovation project. The new details will make this interest even stronger,” said Kristin Brookfield, HIA chief executive of industry policy.  

“These updates will give greater certainty to home buyers and their builders about what projects potentially qualify for the grant.”

While the HIA still sees a need for state and territory revenue offices to outline the final details of how applicants will apply for the grant and the timing of payment, the new information addressed a number of concerns the group had expressed to government.

“Recognising that a fixed three month timeframe to commence building work did not reflect how dependent home builders are on other players, like the banks, the councils and building certifiers, is extremely important and a welcome update,” said Brookfield.

“HIA has been working closely with state and territory revenue offices and we look forward to receiving these details soon, which will assist home buyers and builders begin taking full advantage of the grant.

“Builders are feeling positive about the next six months of activity and equally important is the potential the scheme has to generate activity in 2021.”