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Changes to the HomeBuilder program will continue to support construction jobs in Gippsland and bring more government money into the local economy, says Federal Member for Gippsland Darren Chester.

The HomeBuilder program, which has driven demand for 27,000 new homes and major renovation projects nationally, will be modified and extended by three months.

Mr Chester said the program would help protect the jobs of around one million Australians who work in the construction sector by supporting an additional 15,000 residential building projects.

“Gippsland’s construction sector has reported a huge surge in demand since this scheme was announced as a key element of Australia’s coronavirus economic recovery plan,” Mr Chester said.

“Many builders turned customers away because they simply weren’t able to meet the program’s deadlines for contracts to be signed and construction to begin.

“The changes to the program will allow more Gippslanders to take advantage of the scheme and prolong the positive economic benefit it brings by keeping local tradies, building firms and suppliers busy.

“This is great news for eligible Gippslanders wanting to build or undertake major renovations and there’ll be many in the construction sector who will welcome the additional time to accommodate the demand from customers that this scheme has generated.”

Changes to the HomeBuilder program include:

  • A $15,000 grant for building contracts (new builds and substantial renovations) signed between January 1, 2021 and March 31, 2021;
  • An extended deadline for all applications to be submitted, including those applying for the $25,000 grant and the new $15,000 grant. Applications can now be submitted up until April 14, 2021. This will apply to all eligible contracts signed on or after June 4, 2020.
  • An extension to the construction commencement timeframe from three months to six months for all HomeBuilder applicants. This will apply to all eligible contracts signed on or after January 1, 2021, but will also be backdated and apply to all contracts entered into on or after June 4, 2020; and
  • An increase to the property price cap for new build contracts in Victoria to $850,000  where the contract is signed between January 1, 2021 and March 31, 2021.

Minister for Housing and Assistant Treasurer Michael Sukkar said HomeBuilder would also be adjusted for the building and housing market’s conditions, and after consultation with the construction sector.

“There is no better proof of HomeBuilder’s success than the latest Housing Industry Association’s new home sales data, which shows sales are 31.6 per cent higher in the three months to October 2020 when compared with the same time last year,” Mr Sukkar said.

“This is a temporary and targeted program and we want to give buyers the confidence and support to enter the market right now at a time when the economy needs it most.”

This announcement also builds upon the extension of the First Home Loan Deposit Scheme announced in the Budget, which delivered 10,000 guaranteed loans to allow first home buyers to obtain a loan to build a new home, or purchase a newly built home, with a deposit of as little as five per cent.

For more information on the HomeBuilder program, visit https://treasury.gov.au/coronavirus/homebuilder 

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