On 4 June 2020, Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced the Australian Government Home Builder Stimulus Scheme which aims to create increased work for the construction industry, in the wake of the COVID-19 economic crisis, between the months of June and December 2020. This program will seek to support around 1 million workers currently working in the industry including builders, plumbers, painters etc. as well as the creation of new jobs in the industry.

What is it?

  • The Australian Government will provide grants worth $25,000 for eligible singles and couples planning to build or renovate existing homes.

Who is eligible?

  • Australian citizens aged 18 or over.
  • Singles need to earn under $125,000 a year and couples under $200,000 – based on 2018-19 or later tax return.
  • Need to be either:
    • intending to build a new home as a principal place of residence valued up to $750,000 including the land; or
    • planning to renovate an existing property with the upgrade valued between $150,000 and $750,000 and any existing property needs to be worth less than $1,500,000 before the renovation with construction contracted to commence within three months of the contract date.

How do I apply?

  • When the state or territory you live in signs the National Partnership Agreement it can begin to distribute the HomeBuilder payments to those who apply.
  • These applications will be backdated to 4 June 2020 and information on when and how you can access the HomeBuilder grant will become available through your relevant state or territory revenue office.

What type of renovation works can be done?

  • The renovation works must be to improve the accessibility, safety and livability of the dwelling. For example works can be used for kitchen and bathroom renovations carried out by licensed contractors, but cannot be used for add-ons like swimming pools, tennis courts, outdoor spas and saunas, and detached sheds or garages.
  • The scheme will not apply to investment properties or owners who intend on building or renovating on their own without the help of builders.

Time Constraints?

  • Building contracts need to be executed between 4 June and 31 December 2020.

Other important points:

  • Contracts must not be signed between relatives, nor people with other “special relationships,” and builders must be able to demonstrate that the price was comparable with July 2018 prices.
  • Requirement that all eligible builders be licensed or registered before 4 June 2020.

The team at SMR Legal is ready to assist anyone that may be considering taking advantage of the above Scheme.