The Federal Government has extended the construction deadline for the HomeBuilder scheme from 6 months to 18 months.
Federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said the extension will alleviate some of the stresses for the housing and construction sector.
“Extending the construction commencement requirement will smooth out the HomeBuilder construction pipeline, support jobs in the construction sector, and ensure that existing applicants facing difficulties in starting construction on their new builds and renovations are not denied a HomeBuilder grant due to circumstances outside their control.”
The scheme is expected to support around $30 billion of residential construction projects across Australia.
The Minister for Housing Michael Sukkar said the scheme has already increased consumer confidence in the housing market.
“The swift introduction of HomeBuilder gave Australians the confidence to build or rebuild a home during a period of great uncertainty.”
This extension ensures a continuous pipeline of economic activity is sustained across the sector.
HomeBuilder applications closed on 14 April 2021, but existing applicants will now have until 30 April 2023 to start construction.
What is HomeBuilder?
The HomeBuilder scheme is part of the Federal Government’s economic package to enhance consumer confidence to construct or renovate a residential home in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The program was announced during the height of Australia’s COVID-19 crisis and received an extension for applications in November 2020.
At that time, the Federal Government raised the property price cap from $750,000 to $850,000 in Victoria, and to $950,000 in New South Wales. But the value grants were decreased from $25,000 to $15,000.
According to The Treasury, 121,363 applications had been made at the 9 April 2021 preliminary data collection – a mix of 99,253 for new builds and 22,110 for renovations.
Victoria led the country for new build applications (29,198), while New South Wales led for renovation applications (6,909).
Why Was It Extended?
The HomeBuilder construction extension alleviates some of the stress for builders who were waiting on supplies. Around 70 per cent of builders are already dealing with schedule delays and increased costs for materials and labour because of COVID-related shipping delays.
Master Builders Victoria Chief Executive Officer, Rebecca Casson said the extension is a welcome relief for the building and construction industry, which has been struggling to keep up with demand since scheme’s introduction.
“It has been incredibly successful in generating work for our sector at a time when many builders were very fearful about the potential downturn because of the impacts of COVID-19.
“However, the flip side of that boom in very welcome work has been major increases in the demand for – and some challenges in sourcing - key materials and tradespeople,” she explained.