Eligible HomeBuilder grant applicants will now have six months to commence construction of their new home or renovation from the date of the contract being signed, following a blanket 3-month extension being granted today.
The decision, by the SA Commissioner of State Taxation, follows similar moves in Western Australia and Victoria and comes off the back of last week’s 3-day circuit breaker in which housing construction activity was stopped.
Previously, under the scheme, applicants were required to seek an extension from the Commissioner on a case-by-case basis for reasons such as labour shortages, difficulties obtaining construction materials, and delays in finance, land titling and council approvals.
Treasurer Rob Lucas welcomed the blanket extension, which he said would help alleviate pressure on the local industry to meet growing demand for the scheme – with builders bracing for a tsunami of building activity over the next 9 to 12 months.
“HomeBuilder is a powerful shot in the arm for our state’s critical housing and construction sector, which supports thousands of local jobs – from carpenters, plumbers and bricklayers to electricians, architects and other suppliers,” Mr Lucas said.
“We know this program is already going gangbusters, with hundreds of applications already received and hundreds more expected by the end of the year.
“We welcome the decision today by the Commissioner of State Taxation to issue a blanket 3-month extension which will give builders more time to plan and secure tradespeople and ensure a steady pipeline of work which, ultimately, is good for jobs.
“The Commissioner also acknowledged the blanket 3-month extension would help address the impact of the 3-day stop in construction activity as a result of the circuit breaker.
“We expect this decision will be supported by industry bodies including the Housing Industry Association, Master Builders Association of SA and the UDIA.”
There have been 2,337 applications for the $25,000 HomeBuilder Grant received by the State Government – and hundreds more expected by the end of the year.
Of these, 280 grants have been paid, while another 495 applicants have received conditional approval*. Of these, some are also receiving the State Government’s $15,000 First Home Owner Grant – providing them a combined $40,000 head start into home ownership.
Mr Lucas said, while he had written to the Federal Government seeking the extension, the Commissioner of State Taxation had exercised her power under the First Home and Housing Construction Grants Act 2000 to grant the blanket extension – in the same way her counterparts in WA and Victoria have.
Under the scheme, contracts must be signed between June 4 and December 31 (inclusive) this year, and construction now must commence within 6 months of the contract date.
Eligible applicants will be paid the grant as follows:
· For new builds, the grant will be paid at the first progress payment when the footings are laid;
· For substantial renovations, the grant will be paid once at least $150,000 of the contract price has been paid in respect of the renovation; and
· For new home/off the plan contracts, the grant will be paid on evidence of the title transferring to the new owner
· Applications must be received by RevenueSA by 31 December 2020.
*The application process allows for conditional approval where all other criteria have been met, in advance of evidence that construction has commenced within 6 months of the contract being signed.
For new builds, construction is taken to have commenced when site works including excavation for the approved building works is complete.
For more information and to download the application form: visit https://www.revenuesa.sa.gov.au/HomeBuilder