The Federal Government recently unveiled their new HomeBuilder stimulus package as a means to assist the residential construction industry by encouraging the commencement of renovations and new home builds. It is a time-limited grant program that provides eligible first home buyers and owner-occupiers with a grant of $25,000 to build a new home or renovate an existing home. But how does it work and how do you go about accessing it?
What are the criteria?
To be eligible for the HomeBuilder government grant you must be:
- A natural person (not a trust or company);
- Aged 18 years or older;
- An Australian citizen;
- Able to meet one of the following two income caps:
– Individuals earning $125,000 per annum based on their 2018-19 tax return or later; or
– Couples earning $200,000 per annum based on both 2018-19 tax returns or later;
- Able to enter into a building contract between 4th June 2020 and 31st December 2020 to either:
– build a new home as a principal place of residence, where the property value does not exceed $750,000; or
– 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 (house and land) does not exceed $1.5 million. Construction must also commence within three months of the contract date.
How do I access the HomeBuilder grant?
Those that are eligible should contact their relevant State or Territory authority on when and how to apply for it. This is because the application process depends on when the relevant Government of the State or Territory that you live in or plan to live in signs the National Partnership Agreement with the Commonwealth Government. States and Territories will backdate acceptance of HomeBuilder applications to 4 June 2020 once the National Partnership Agreement is signed.
Who is not eligible for the HomeBuilder grant?
Owner-builders and those seeking to renovate an existing home which is an investment property or build a new home which will be used as an investment property, are not eligible for HomeBuilder.
What types of dwellings are eligible?
All dwelling types, including houses, apartments, house and land packages and off-the-plan situations are eligible in accordance with the requirement that the owner-occupier must substantially renovate their existing dwelling or contract to build a new dwelling.
What renovations are eligible?
To be eligible, renovations must improve the liveability, accessibility and safety of the property. This excludes building a pool, tennis court or shed for the renovation contract. Renovations must be completed by a registered or licenced builder (depending on the State or Territory).
In addition, any building or renovation contract entered into must be at arm’s length, meaning the contract must be made by two parties freely and independently of each other. The terms of the contract should be commercially reasonable and the contract price should not be inflated compared to the fair market place.
Does it complement other housing grants?
In terms of offering government assistance for first home buyers, HomeBuilder complements existing State and Territory First Home Owner Grant programs, stamp duty concessions and other grant schemes, as well as the First Home Loan Deposit Scheme and the First Home Super Saver Scheme. Also, the HomeBuilder grant is not taxed, which is consistent with existing State and Territory First Home Owner Grant programs.
How do I find out more?
Information about what the Homebuilder grant will mean for the construction industry is available on business.gov.au or by contacting 13 28 46. The business.gov.au website will also post updates on State and Territory information as it becomes available. You can also access information about Frequently Asked Questions here.