The Australian Government is implementing the HomeBuilder program to help build a new home or substantially renovate an existing home.

From today until 31 December 2020, the program will provide owner-occupiers and first home buyers with a grant of $25,000 for renovations and building new homes.

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Applicants for the grant will be subject to eligibility criteria, including:

  • Income caps of $125,000 for singles and $200,000 for couples based on their latest assessable income
  • An Australian citizen
  • Build a new home as a principal place of residence, where the property value does not exceed $750,000
  • Substantially renovate your existing home as a principal place of residence, where the renovation contract is between $150,000 and $750,000, and where the value of your existing property does not exceed $1.5 million
  • Construction must commence within three months of the contract date

The program has been welcomed by companies across the sector with CEO of Master Builders Australia Denita Wawn explains that helping the sector, helps the wider community.

She says, “This means that HomeBuilder will provide a boost for thousands of tradies; the cafes, pubs, and ute dealerships that they frequent; as well as the thousands of building supply businesses that depend on the industry.”

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Other groups have warned to tread carefully and instead consider how this would be more beneficial for social housing developments rather than high income earners.

Australian Council of Social Service CEO Dr Cassandra Goldie says,“We should be focusing on ensuring everyone has a roof over head, not on government support for people who are relatively well off to upgrade their roofs.”

The program is expected to provide around 27,000 grants at a total cost of around $680 million.

The government hopes that the grant will boost economic activity in the residential construction sector to help to fill the gap in activity due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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