Related story: Are you eligible for the HomeBuilder grant?
What was meant as a lifeline to the building industry, the Government's HomeBuilder scheme announced at the beginning of June was initially received with some scepticism.
The $25,000 cash grants for new homes and renos is not just about helping Aussie's create their dream home, but supporting thousands of the country's builders and tradies.
However, to be eligible for the cash grant, there was a multitude of criteria to be met, including means-testing that excludes anyone earning over $125,000 a year (or $200,000 for couples).
Construction also had to start within three months of the contract date which was proving to be a barrier for those wanting to benefit from the scheme.
Three key refinements have been 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;
- clarification that a sales contract for a home purchased off the plan will be eligible in the same way as a building contract, and
- aligning the process with the current timing of payments for first home owner grants for new homes.
"The addition of this extra detail will clarify questions builders and homebuyers have been asking since the scheme was announced on June 4," said Kristin Brookfield, HIA Chief Executive Industry Policy.
"The HomeBuilder grant has already boosted interest in buying a new home or carrying out a renovation project. 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. The new details will make this interest even stronger."
These updates will give greater certainty to home buyers and their builders about what projects potentially qualify for the grant.Kristin Brookfield
"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."
"The HomeBuilder grant provides the incentive and the support needed to maintain housing activity in the second half of 2020."