The new program, dubbed HomeBuilder, will run from 4 June to 31 December 2020, and provide eligible owner-occupiers with a grant of $25,000 to build a new home or substantially renovate an existing home.
The HomeBuilder program will exclude investment properties and those who are looking to build or renovate without the use of a licensed or registered builder.
Further, the grant will only be applicable for new home builds that do not exceed a national dwelling price cap of $750,000, and a renovation price range of $150,000 up to $750,000 for an existing home with a current value of no more than $1.5 million.
The grant will also be means-tested to exclude individuals earning more than $125,000 per annum or couples earning more than $200,000 per annum, based on their 2018–19 tax returns.
Eligible Australians will be able to apply directly through their state or territory revenue office, and will need to provide a number of documents, including a copy of their 2018–19 tax return.
While the program has been estimated to cost $680 million, covering 27,000 grants, the final costing has yet to be provided because of its demand-driven nature.
“This increase in residential construction will help to fill the gap in construction activity expected in the second half of 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic,” Prime Minister Scott Morrison said.
“In doing so, HomeBuilder will help to support the 140,000 direct jobs and another 1,000,000 related jobs in the residential construction sector including businesses and sole-trader builders, contractors, property developers, construction materials manufacturers, engineers, designers and architects.”
However, opposition leader Anthony Albanese cast doubt on the projected take-up of the new program.
“$150,000 is indeed a very substantial renovation indeed, and most people don’t have $150,000 in the current climate, people are concerned about their economic security,” Mr Albanese said in an ABC interview.
“The idea that people have $150,000 sitting around, we will wait and see how many people this applies to.
“There’s nothing in this package for social housing, nothing to provide affordable housing for essential workers. This is a very narrow package.”
Jotham Lian is the editor of Accountants Daily, the leading source of breaking news, analysis and insight for Australian accounting professionals.
Before joining the team in 2017, Jotham wrote for a range of national mastheads including the Sydney Morning Herald, and Channel NewsAsia.